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JAN. '81 N0.11 

News & Views of the, 

Belfast Anarchist Collective 

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During December, the hunger strike for 
political status intensified, with more 
prisoners joining in and the original seven 
reaching a critical condition. 

On December 1st, 3 women from the 28 
on protest in Armagh began a hunger stri- 
ke, not simply in solidarity with the 7 men 
in Long Kesh, but because of the logic of 
their own resistance. In their statement, 
they said, "For four years we have been 
refusing to work and conform to Britains 
criminalisation policy. Therefore we lost 
all privileges, and were locked up 23 hours 
a day. Now for the past 10 months we 
have had our endurance stretched to what 
we would have thought of before as being 
impossible. However, comradeship, and' 
your unfailing support have been gifts to 
keep us sane!' 

Then on December 12th, 6 U.D.A. loyalist 
prisoners started a hunger strike calling for 
segregation from republicans, and political 
status. This lasted only 5 days when churc- 
hmen promised to take their case up. The 
prisoners threatened to resume the strike 
if the government refused to consider their 
demands. When the N.I.O. 'solved' the rep- 
ublican strike, they dropped any pretence 
of considering the loyalist case, so the ball 
is now back in their court. 

On December 15th, 23 more republicans 
joined the hunger strike in Long Kesh, 
because of N.I.O. duplicity. The previous 
day, the N.I.O. sent a senior civil servant 
in to read from a prepared commons docu- 
ment, stating the governments position. 
The 7 men refused to have this done indiv- 
idually, and met in the canteen. When 
their spokesperson, Brendan Hughes, 
asked a few questions, the civil servant ref- 
used to answer. On December 16th, anoth- 
er 7 joined the strike. 

December 18th. was a day of great confus- 
ion. The 7 hunger strikers called off their 
strike when Atkins offered them consider- 
able concessions but which did'nt meet the 
demands of no uniform and no penal work. 
The proposals for work were sufficiently 
vague to allow for a certain optimism, but 
the prisoners were still expected to wear 
prison issue clothing for a quarter of the 
time. In a statement issued on the 17th, 
the prisoners said "...these proposals meet 
the requirements of our five basic deman- 
ds" but the previous day had warned "that 
the failure of the British government to act 
in a responsible manner towards ending 
the condition r which f crced us onto a hun- 
ger strike, wilLJead -o inevitable and con ! 
tinual strife within the H-blocks'' J 

On the 19th, the women in Armagh came 
off their strike, and the 30 other republic- 
ans did likewise. 

In the 2 weeks since the ending of the strik 
-es, there has been both a sense of relief 
that no-one died, and the almost inevit- 
able street confrontations were avoided, 
mixed with a wariness about the British 
governments intentions to fulfil their 

Accounts from inside Long Kesh claim 
that those coming off the blanket protest 
were placed in clean cells with the old 
prison uniforms provided. These were 
thrown out and the blanket protest begun 
again. There are even rumours of another 
hunger strike starting again. 
Only time will answer the following quest- 
ions -will the N.I.O. implement their 
reforms; will the prisoners see them as 
enough; will a renewed hunger strike get 
the same support, and will it be of a differ- 
ent nature; will the loyalists also restart 
their hunger strike? 

An important point is that any gains won 
by the republicans will benefit the whole 
prison population. The proposals are 
fairly vague but include more association, 
more scope for eduction (including self 
study) up to 20 hours a week; uniform 
only to be worn % of the time; work to 
be based on the individuals needs as well 
as the prisons. The practical results have 
yet to be seen. 


As predicted in O.C. Ulster Television can 
continue to broadcast for the next 10 
years until the next review of their licence 
This frigid little company, along with all 
the other tight-fisted commercial stations 
around Britain will continue to feed us 
their shit, designed to maintain the status 
quo and line the pockets of the chosen 

And in the latest bid to abolish the on/off 
switches we will soon be presented with 
breakfast-time TV shows. 


Local word has it that the southern govern- 
ment intends to build a new maximum 
security prison on the island of Owey, a 
mile offshore from the Rosses in Donegal. 
Over the past month, officials from the 
southern department of justice have visited 
the is/and twice, refusing to give their 
reasons for the visits. People in the area say 
that they believe that a survey is being 
carried out to determine the suitability 
of the is/and for a maximum security 
prison— almost certainly for prisoners con- 
victed of political offences. 

kuc mm 

The first ever Police Authority tribunal into tor- 
ture in N.I. got off the ground last month. James 
Rafferty alleged that in Gough Barracks between 
the 1 1th and 1 3th Nov. '76 he was punched, 
slapped, had his hair pulled and froced to do 
exhausting exercices. A doctor confirmed that 
the extensive bruising could not have been self- 
inflicted. And a member of the RUC. then a chief 
inspector, who had conducted an internal RUC 
enquiry, had been able to pin-point certain RUC 
interrogators as responsible. The DPP had receiv- 
ed his file and the doctors report, but after 3 
years still had given no direction to prosecute. 
All ingredients were available for an embarassing 

conclusion for the RUC so on the second 

day when the RUC barrister asked Rafferty aboui 
his republican involvment and he reserved his 
right to refuse to answer, the RUC barrister walk- 
ed out of the room. The chairperson continued 
with the tribunal and issued subpoenas for 29 
RUC members to attend the tribunal. But the 
RUC put their case to the High Court and finally 
it squashed the subpoenas. Next day the tribunal 
had no option but to end, as there were no more 
witnesses. What its conclusions will be, and what 
effect they will have, time will tell. But the RUC 
can always claim that it was not impartial! 


Peter Taylor once made a "This Week" 
programme on the Bennett Report, 
which had investigated the claims of 
torture by the RUC in Castle reagh. 
That programme was not shown on the 
night scheduled. In fact the screens of 
ITV were blank for an hour that night 
as the technicians refused to accept 
the censorship and show a replacement 

With much research already done Tay- 
lor began writing his book. As he adm- 
its towards the end it was made up of 
the information Bennett collected but 
never published. 

He had many difficulties with his publ- 
ishers Penguin. The evidence and con- 
clusions not only prove what most 
people already know ie: that there was 
a systematic application of torture 
techniques to extract 'confessions'. 
The introduction in the book is presum- 
ably the result of Penguin disquiet 
towards these revelations. It asserts 
there was no SYSTEMATIC torture; 
that a few RUC got carried away; and 
after all they were under intense press- 
ure (being shot at etc). If Penguin hop- 
ed this would compensate for the 
rest of the book they were mistaken. 
When the book was launched in Belfast, 
Taylor was made by Penguin to play the 
same game for radio and TV interviews. 
I am giving Taylor the benefit of the 
doubt here. He either thought these 
sacrifices were necessary and worth it 
to get the book published or he does 
not realise that he has contradicted 99% 
of the evidence of the book. 

Taylor first explains the devlopment of 
a two pronged policy to defeat the IRA 
and other opposition to British rule 
here-'criminalisation' and 'primacy 
of police.' 

'Criminalisation' was the attempt to 

replace the internationally embarrasing 
internment with a form of judicial 
trial. The Diplock Commission's recc- 
omendations of a juryless court, the 
> admission of 'confession' as evidence, 
land the reversal of the onus of proof 
lof torture were implimented and bee- ; 
' ame"due process of law" 

The "primacy of the police" was to 
help portray the political conflict here 
as a problem simply of "law and order" 
The R.U.C. established three interrogat- 
ion centres-Gough in Armagh, Strand 
in Derry and most notoriously Castle- 
reagh in Belfast. They also increased 
their number of patrols, surveillance 
and armaments. Four new regional 
crime squads were established. Their 
role was to be as flexible as the IRAs 
Active Service Units, and to carry out 

The new policies had new people at the 
top. The GOC was House, the Chief 
Constable was Newman, and the Sec- 
retary of State a certain Roy Mason. 
In the new legislation which covered 
the Diplock Courts, Section 6 allowed 
for the admissability of 'confessions.' 
When it was challenged in May 77 Lord 
Justice McGonigle interpreted the Act 
in a judgment which became known as 
the 'torturers charter'-inhuman 
I treatment had to cause SEVERE suff- 
ering, torture was an AGGRAVATED 
form of inhuman treatment, and degr- 
ading conduct had to GROSSLY hum- 
iliate! Incidently a Directive from the 
Chief Constable in July 76 had stated 
that the judges rules on questioning of 
suspects, referred only to interviews 
and not interrogations! 
So the interrogators zealously set about 
their work. Mav/June '77 and Feb/ 
March 78 were the two highest periods 
for alleged assault. By no coincidence 
the period of the Amnesty Internation- 
al mission to enquire into torture and 
their final report 7 months later were 
the 2 periods of lowest allegations. On 
the occasion of the Bennett Report 
the RUC also played a low profile. 
There is methodical coverage of many 
cases— of those who were convicted 
despite evidence of torture (Judge 
Rowland had the worst record) and of 
those who were released because of 
this evidence at the trial (there were 
in fact many who couldn't be brought 
to trial because of the obvious degree 
of the beatings). 

To release someone whose defence 
was that s/he was beaten implies that 
many RUC interrogators could have 
been charged. But the judges kept 
their jobs by taking up a recurring 
theme-there was no torture. But the 
confession was 'induced' and so excl- 
uded as evidence. 

If the evidence of beating was overwhel- 
ming then a new line was taken. When 
Patrick Fullerton was released without 
charge from Castlereagh in July 77 he 
took the RUC to court for assault. 
The magistrate McLaughlin, had to 
admit that there was assault but he 
did not know by whom, because of 
the large number of interrogators 
involved. Five detectives walked free! 
In fact not one member of the RUC 
has ever been convicted for assault. 
The most serious incident was the 
death of Brian Maguire, a shop stew- 
ard from Andersonstown. The RUC 
alleged that he committed suicide but 

the common practise of 'throttling' 
suspects is well known in Northern 
Ireland., and well documented in the 
book. As Brian's mother said ..."I 
think they (RUC) went a bit too far 
with him". 

One of the main mistakes of the RUC 
was to ignore complaints from police 
surgeons that no explanation was 
forthcoming as to the injured condit- 
ion of the many people they received 
for examination after interrogation. 
Dr.Elliot operated from Gough barr- 
acks, and Dr. Irwin from Townhall 
Street in Belfast who recieved suspects 
from Castlereagh. 

Taylor methodically covers the cases 
they came across and explains the 
doctors' frustrations at being ignored. 
The Police Authority also took up 
several cases but even they were given 
the run around by the C.C.Newman. 
Just before the British governments 
Bennett Report was due for publicat- 
ion Dr Irwin agreed to an interview 
with Mary Holland on ITV's 'Weekend 
World'. He feared the Bennett Report 
would not be extensive enough nor 
give any context. But immediately 
a smear campaign against him began. 
Whitehall leaked a story to the Daily 
Telegraph alleging that Irwin had a 
grudge against the RUC because they 
had failed to catch the man who had 
raped his wife in '76. The 'dirty tricks' 
tactic failed and even rebounded on 

The peak of tortures have not been 
repeated, but the policies which lead 
to them, and the practice, continues. 
Dr Irwin and Dr Elliot left their jobs 
and more cooperative doctors replaced 

An interesting postscript is one detect- 
ives admission to Taylor. He keeps all 
his interview notes in case there were 
ever to be, at some distant date, a war 
crimes tribunal. 

•jag | W^M 
mm- JE3 

Anyone who begins the series "Ireland: 
a Television Flistory" with the stateme- 

Kee could have, at least, said the truth as 
he saw it. There are different ways of 
looking at history. We are told of the 
exploits of kings, the queens and the 
leaders and rarely a mention of the 
"common" people's continual struggle 
to survive and challenge their oppress- 

And by opening the series in the sensat- 
ionalist way by saying that all the Irish 
welcomed the Queen's Jubillee visit 
and then SUDDENLY in Easter 1916 
there was an insurrection against the 
British must be taking those pro- Brit 
school history books too far. What 
about Maud Gonne, James Connolly, 
Jim Larkin and the thousands of others 
during that period who were continual' 
ly struggling to boot the Brits out? 

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he dole queues are getting bigger am 

bigger many more women, kids straight 

from school, people who have known 
nothing else, and people just now being 
made redundant.. ..things are bad indeed 
when those considered Protestant now 
line up once a week (or once a fortnight) 
with their 'Catholic' counterparts. The 
dole is a lot of things to a lot of people 
but one thing it could be is a sizeable 
handout for just your signature's work... 
if seen from this angle it doesn't have the 
trappings of guilt, the scroungers-status 
that some would like us to feel (to force 
us off the dole). 

The true aspect is a weekly handout, a 
compensation for having to live amidst a 
system run by clever fools, where only 

The new social security code, used to det- 
ermine a claimant's rates. 

the interests of the possessed are protect- 
ed. .the dole, though doesn't conjure up 
such happy thoughts in most heads-its 
a soul destroying experience for many, 
laden with years of guilt trips about 
sponging. It would appear that even self 
respect is lost if we are not working 5; 6 
~ar some institution 
lat cares only what your 
time can create for them. The dole tries 
to strip us of our dignity, our stature as 
human beings. Last week in Shaftesbury 
Square in Belfast a middle aged man was 
told off for "getting his signing on card 
grubby". ...every week rain or snow we 
are made to stand outside and wait until 
the last second before we get the privilege 
to queue up inside at our box. prams 
inside the building.. .please keep your 
children under strict control reads the 
supervisers sign, speaking volumes about 
where they are at! The dole is the STATE 
at work, an inhuman, cold, bureaucratic 
network that is used to frighten people 
out of any workplace militancy. ..'the 
more strike the more unemployment' 
runs the current lie(and suitably dulled 
people are queueing to join even the 
RUC, UDR and prison service rather than 
go on the bru.) And new rules and regu- 
lations this week make SS even more 
offensive to those who rely solely on 
their handouts... 

At a time when police pay has risen over 
55% in under a year and a half, the dole 
is to be no longer index linked to the 
cost of living which could make next 
year's increase as low as nothing!! The 
N.I. Supplementary Benefits Commission 
responsible for overseeing SS operations 

is being abolished and replaced by a centr- 
al UK body,centred in England with one 
Nl representative (a Methodist minister!). 
In one sense, the disappearance of the Nl 
SBC is no loss-it was they who upped 
the number of special fraud investigators 
and doubled prosecutions for those not 
playing by their rules. This new Central 
UK body will act like that other fright- 
ening institution— the court system— 
with our payments based on rules 
(legality) as decided by London bureau- 
crats. The area of need no longer applies becomes an area of 'right to benefit' 
with a list of bureau principles and rules 
decide just who can get what-the need 
of the claimant disappears in an attempt 
to make the dole fit mass processing. 
Any 'Discretion' is now abolished. 
Likewise the PDA becomes more efficie- 
nt and even though the total amount per 
week is reduced, all the state agencies, 
gas, electricity, rent and rates can get their 
arm into you. And for those who do not 
do as they are told, social workers can 
now withhold your money if you don't 
budget properly. 

And the result of it all? More people will 
be forced to fiddle and do the double- 
nothing wrong with that if you do it with 
joy in your heart and are not caught. 
Unfortunately though it is going to mean 
real hardship for many... real distress, dep- 
ression, more valium, more despair as the 
STATE increases its hold on our well 
being. Maybe, just maybe it will allow the 
free time for people to start organising 
themselves to change a system which 
gives us the dole in the first place. 


Since Thursday 9th October, a course 
"The Community and Crime" has been 
running in the extra mural department of 
Queens University. It is jointly organised 
by the Probation Service and NIACRO. 
(Northern Ireland Association for the 
Care and Resettlement of Offenders). 

Normally I wouldn't pay much attention 
to a course for middle class do gooders 
(the last evening ends with a wine and 
cheese party) but I happened to hear the 
plug for the class on Radio Ulster. Apart 
from members of the Judiciary and the 
Probation Service, we were told, the list 
of guest speakers would include 'articulate 
ex prisoners'. 

The phrase 'articulate ex prisoners' is an 
unconscious revelation of the professional 
social workers view of their clients. They 
seem to be saying and passing on the 
prejudice to their next generation of recru- 
its, that people in conflict with the law 
are monosyllabic social inadequates who 
have nobody to blame but themselves 
for their problems. Such a Victorian view 
of wrongdoers is of course a load of crap. 
Being an ex prisoner myself I know that 
most non political inmates become expro- 
priators as a response to harsh social cond- 
itions which condemn them to a soul des- 
troying existence on the dole. So I went 
along to the initial lecture to see the 
middle class indoctrination process at first 

While I had known that the course was 
ostensibly designed for those interested in 
voluntary social work I felt altruism 
would'nt be the only motive that would 

make people attend. In that I wasn't wro- 
ng. The class, numbering about 25, fell 
into two groups. The majority were stud- 
ents who seemed predestined for careers 
as social workers. Some even admitted as 
much. They at least had inexperience and 
good intentions as an excuse. Not so, the 
second smaller group., which wouldn't 
have been out of place at a Tory Law and 
Order debate. Although they were retice- 
nt about their motives it seems they were 
more concerned with personal advancem- 
ent than the welfare of so< 

There are three paths into a 
social work or the probation service, a 

degree, A levels or 'relevant experience'. 
It was obvious that this course was going 
to be the 'relevant expereince' that would 
pave their way to a cushy job for life. The 
fact that Probation Officers are 'officers 
of the courts' and are as much a part of 
the system as the screws in Long Kesh or 
the interrogators in Castlereagh won't 
trouble their conscience unduly. Its a 
melancholy fact that as Thatcher conscr- 
ipts more unwilling recruits into the ranks 
of the unemployed in her fight against 

, the numbers of potential clients 
ypocrites will mushroom. 

Only one rig 
left to go! 

The Donegal Co. Council have had anoth- 
er monthly decision to do something 

about stopping uranium exploration 

though the councillors with sizeable 
share investments in P. Hughes' Comp- 
anies have somehow managed to thwart 
anything being actually done about it. 
Not surprisingly, the task of getting the 
mining companies out has been left to 
the local people themselves... those who 
have most to loose from the internation- 
al speculators. Latest news is that Tara 
Exploration (tied up with P. Hughes 
private family trust) has pulled out alto- 
gether, and Northgate (again chaired by 
P. Hughes) is to run down its operations. 
And another of Hughes' companies, 
Anglo-United, have substantially reduced 
their committment, with only 3 workers 
and one rig left to go. 

So why do they seem to be pulling out 
now? The local opposition is certainly 
much greater than they could ever have 
anticipated, and this is playing a large 

part along with the opposition throughout 
the rest of Ireland.... but the very nature 
of the nuclear industry (and uranium 
exploration/mining in particular) will 
always mean such sporadic ups and 
downs. Uranium exploration /mining is 
based on upping share-prices, EEC grants 
the price of and demand for uranium on 
the world market. ..with enough nuclear 
armaments to kill us all 1000 times over, 
and enough nuclear waste literally lying 
around to do the same, the rush for even 
more uranium has slowed somewhat. 

As Anglo-United themselves say... 
they are temporarily running down... 
" in view of the current world-wide 
circumstances affecting the short-term 
prospects for uranium ". Demand for 
uranium and hence the return of Anglo- 
United and friends to Donegal will 
depend on people like mad-Reagan push- 
ing us all even faster than Carter towards 

The uranium grabbers with their false 
promises of jobs and community welfare 

will be back when it suits THEM this 

much they say. What they don't say, 
(but won't forget) is that the real feeling 
against them will not disappear in their 




Though support activity in London seems to 
have gathered some more momentum in the 
past week or so, it has so far stayed within the 
traditional leftist milieu. 1 went on the Nov. 
15th March a few days after returning from a 
week in Belfast-and upon seeing the banners 
of 52 irrelevant Trotsyite sects among the 
marches I knew I was really home. In Belfast, 
I had just observed a situation in which supp- 
ort for the hunger strikers and their demands 
took the form of direct community based 
action against the state. While I was not expec- 
ting precisely that sort of 'scene' in London 
at the moment, the ritualistic quality that has 
usually afflicted leftist events still came as a 
shock: the various groupuscules dust off their 
banners, exchange newspapers, take a Sunday 
stroll for solidarity followed by a pint of real 

There has been some recent improvement, 
perhaps because of the increased urgency of 
the situation. The second national march was 
a bit more energetic, particulary as we entered 
Kilburn. (The police already in copius supply 
seemed to have increased in numbers and 
heaviness at this point). Local Troops Out 
chapters and ad hoc groups have been initiati- 
ng action in their areas, and on December 1 Oth 
the Central Polytechnic was occupied for a 
few hours. Needless to say, this sort of action 
should not be restricted to universities, but 
applied to department stores, banks, city 
streets and underground stations. Turn outs 
for various demonstrations will tend to be 
low and dispirited unless action is taken and 
information, where people actually are when 
possible with some creative disruption of the 
daily social and economic relations of which 
the H Blocks, torture and the British occup- 
ation are extensions. 

The demand for political status has caused 
some controversy among British anarchists, 
given the view that all prisoners are political. 
Questions regarding the relation of republic- 
anism and nationalism to an autonomous 
class movement have also been raised. While 
these issues won't be resolved easily, many 
anarchists have taken up at least critical supp- 
ort. A leaflet put out by some people in 
Rising Free (an anarchist/ libertarian commun- 
ist bookstore in London) points out that the 
demand for political status relates to the 
specifically political nature of the prisoners 
detention. "This may be no excuse for 
limiting these demands to 'political prisoners' J 
far less is it an excuse for not supporting 

these prisoners at all Revolutionaries in 

Britain, the source of the military and admin- 
istrative apparatus in the six counties have a 
direct responsibility to confront the British 
state and support the Irish working class" 
For some time, a group of anarchists have 
been going on the marches and doing graffitti. 
Two were recently arrested for painting a 
brief, succinct "letter to the editor" support- 
ing the hunger strikers on the Sunday Times 
building. A week after the anarchist 'decorat-. 
ors' had their encounter with the law, two 
other activists busted for graffitti in the same 
area were held for two days and threatened 
with the PTA when one tried to call a solicitor 
(some indications of how the authorities will 
be dealing with increased activity in England 
asainst the H Blocks) In addition to such 
artistic pursuits, London anarchists have 
organised a showing of the Belfast Anarchist 
Collectives video tapes at which further 
Za^ftcwWl^e ptanned.^^^^roiifctefc^ 

Over the past few months, and par- 
ticulary since the beginning of the 
hunger strikes in Long Kesh and 
Armagh prisons, many people have 
felt the need to define for themsel- 
ves the terms 'criminal' and 'politic- 
al', in relation to prisoners. 
Republican, as well as some loyalist priso- 
ners have been struggling since 1976 for a 
restoration of political status, removed by 
the then secetary of state, Roy Mason. 
This was a psychologically motivated 
move to label those people convicted of 
consciously political acts as 'criminals! 
The reasoning behind this move should be 
clear— any person, or group of people 
who attack in any way an established or-, 
der are labelled as being criminals— 'social 
deviants', unreasoned people committing 
certain acts for their own personal gain, be 
it spiritual or financial, psychopaths with 
no regard for the welfare of the rest of 
society. The British government attempted 
to hide the fact that they were, and are 
still engaged in a war, in opposition to a 
group representing the aspirations of a 
different political force, with their own 
political programme. These 'criminal' laws 
are used against these people, and those 
who offer any threat, on any level, to the 
present six county state. 
Although we disagree on many levels with 
the means and eventual aims of Sinn Fein, 
we see that it is perfectly clear that anyone, 
who, in any way (ideologically /physically) 
attempts to undermine the existence of a 
given state, it's laws, it's repression, it's 
benefactors intrests, is going to be labelled 
as being a 'criminal! 

The fact that many people who committ 
political (in the states mind, criminal) acts 
are not conscious of having done so, or of 
the political nature of their crime, is impo- 
rtant. Many of us automatically accept mm 
that people who are imprisoned for crimesi| I 
of shoplifting, robbery, vandalism, 
violence against security forces, fiddlinfifl 
sjrcial security ,electricity meters and other 
property/authority related crimes that you 
can think of, are criminals. Yet when we 
look at the circumstances under which 
many of these acts are committed, we can 
see that they, are political. 
Capitalism breeds wealth for a priviliged 
few, and poverty for many. The vast majo- 
rity of people are deprived from birth, 
deprived of an adequate education,depriv- 
ed of an adequate enviroment in which to 
develop. Instead, we are given the minimu- 
m, what we are told we need. We are taug- 
ht to accept that the possibilities of a bett- 
er existence are non-existent(except, if we 
are good, a better life in heaven). These, 
and a combination of other factors lead to 
us being labelled as failures at an early age. 
It's a fact that in our present system only 
a few may become successes, and the rest 
of us are destined to be "failures! Economy 
demands that a few will fill the positions 
of bank managers, technologists, state 
bureaucrats etc. and that the rest will bec- 
ome the unskilled, low paid, unemployed, 
housewives- many times subordinated- fai- 
lures, preferably with a sense of guilt 
about our position in society. It becomes 
a necessity for a lot of people to shoplift 
in order to fill the plate at dinner time, to 
clothe the children and fulfill our basic 
neeSWIroenak Theft takes place'oTT *~ 

many levels, and often is very individualis- 
tic. Working class homes are broken into 
and burgled by people who, in spite of 
their need, cannot distuinguish between 
the real enemies, and those who are in the 
same position of need. Nonetheless, when 
people are inprisioned for being so anti- 
social as to try to steal from the right 
sources, they are automatically, and effec- 
tively is also anti-social,or 
counter revolutionary, as the rantings of 
the media would have it, to strike for a 
better wage which is, for many, necessary 
in order to survive, a danger to Britain, 
Poland or wherever- a danger to the int- 
rests of those who make the rules.Many 
young people, in a world hostile to their 
unpriviliged existence, destroy property 
which, realistically, is not in their intrests, 
which isn't theirs and forseeably never 
will be. Besides, there is very little else to 
do in a high rise state of existence. Of cou- 
rse we cannot support or attempt to justi- 
fy all crimes, but we do have a basic under- 
standing of the conditions under which 
these acts are committed (eg. the role of 
the patriarchy, stereotyped attitudes tow- 
ards sex roles, and the resultant violence 
against women). We do not want to justi- 
fy such acts, we want to prevent them, to 
promote an understanding of our position 
in society, for people to be able to identi- 
fy who the real criminals are. 

twwiry "? 

The British Cabinet papers on Anglo-Irish 
" tfrom 1948 to '49 were made 
One of these (CAB 128 
I that the Labour Cabinet 
t/ee agreed with the statement 
of the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Norman 

'So long as Eire owes no allegiance to the 
crown and is not a member of the Comm- 
onwealth, . . . some part of Ireland should 
remain, because it is essential for strategic 
reasons, within His Majesty's Dominions. 
. . . It will never be to Great Britain's 
advantage that N. I. should become part of 
a territory outside His Majesty's jurisdict- 
ion. Indeed it seems unlikely that Great 
Britain would ever be able to agree to this 
even if t he people of N.I, desire d it. ' 


If someone says they're an anarch what 
does that mean? Attaching the label is easy 
... as we don't organise as a Party or issue 
membership cards who can judge who is 
or isn't a member of the movement? If I 
said I was a conservative or communist 
or whatever I'd have a card to prove it. The' 
only way to judge whether someone is an 
anarch is by their actio ns...unfo rtuna tely 
most of the people who claim the anarchist 
label in England never do anything beyona 
lifting a pint glass to their mouths, so h&w 
can we know if they are what we understan 
stand by the term? *r - ~~ L 
Phil, HMP Long Lartin. 

NO. 12 FEB. 1981 

News & Views ofthei 

Belfast Anarchist Collective 1 

J <^of^es.... As Anarchists we offose W auttToRjbu ai2' 
TV\i6 pafxiR. CorOeS OOt ^-.V W6fefe lO£ ^'coroc 


No. 10 ... Enter Carlin and Co., the trade 
union bureaucrats (caps in hand) bumbling 
on about the 16% unemployment in N. Ire- 
land; the local MPs dutifully asking for a 
handout to save the latest 800 jobs in Brit- 
ish Enkalon in Antrim and the 240 jobs at 
Euro weld and the latest is £10 million for 
Delorean; the well heeled poverty experts 
who point out the deplorable social condit 
ions in Ulster as compared to the rest of 
the EEC; the local business operators and 
politicians who are appalled at the latest 
'terrorist' outrage, want tighter security. 
'Oh please, please, please Mrs Thatcher, 
could the state give us more money, jobs, 
houses hospitals, police, etc.' 
The state has poured £70 million (so far!) 
into the Delorean Car Plant in the spurious 
effort of producing luxury sports cars(just 
what we need). 
It will subsidise Harland and Wolff to keep 
the largest concentration of 'protestant' 
workers quiet producing cheap ships for 
capitalist shipping companies. 
It will spend a few millions maintaining 
the veneer of a welfare state, cutting all 
the welfare services to a bone. 
It creates bogus employment schemes, 
made to look as if they're doing something 
and subsidise workers wages to keep firms 
from bankrupty or losing jobs. 
It will waste billions on Britain's only 
growth industry, security, ensuring that 
everything remains the same enabling 
private enterprise to get on with it. 
Capitalism isn't interested in anything oth- 
er than what can yield the highest profit, 
and so what if that means laying off work- • 
ers or even killing them to secure that ! 
The liberals hope for more state aid, nat- 
ionalisation and bigger subsidies to attract 
the multinationals. The trendier tne multi- 
nationals are, the better. In the early 60s, 
it was engineering, in the 70s it was the 
synthetic manufacturers, and now in the 
80s it's the brand new saviour of the count 
ry - the microchip! 

Multinationals owe no allegiance to any 
country but only to their shareholders. 
They shift their industy where they can 
get the highest state grant and the cheap- 
est workforce. Look at any impoverished 
country, and especially here, and there will 
be, or have been, 1C1, 1TT,1BM, etc. 
cont. on back page 


Martin Meehan, who was on hunger 
strike last summer in an attempt to 
protest his innocence, lost the appeal 
on which he had rested a lot of hope. 

Originally, along with two others, he had 
been found guilty of "Conspiring to kidn- 
ap" and "False imprisonment"(ironically). 
The evidence rested solely on the word of 
a paid army informer, Mc. Williams, who 
was also the object of the kidnapping. 
Meehan finished his determined 66 -day 
hunger strike after being told that Amnesty 
International would 'launch an investigati- 
on* into his case. During his hunger strike, 
there was much heated feeling, rioting, 
mass marches, a blaze of publicity, and a 
considerable amount of embarrassment for 
the Diplock 'believers! The time lapse bet- 
ween the end of Meehans hunger strike has 
given the Courts a breathing space whilst 
they considered how best to put this 'emb- 
arassment' away for a second time. 
During the appeal, the main problem for 
the three appeal court judges was to preser- 
ve the 'integrity' of the judge of the initial 
trial. The evidence used was circumstantial 
and unreliable, Mc. Williams (the informer) 
was tripped up several times on his 'facts' 
changed his statment after being shown 
new evidence by the RUC, identification 
was made only after a photograph of Meeh 
an was shown to Mc. Williams by the RUC 
police etc. All that Meehan 'got' from the 
appeal was that he was cleared of 'Consp- 
iracy to kidnap' (on a technicality). Not 
much good, as he didn't get a reduction in 

Yet again, the RUC got what they wanted 
from the courts (as usual), that was to put 
Meehan away for a long time — The only 
problem for them was to be able to present 
the 'evidence' in such a way that it didn't 
seem to be too contrived, consideration of 
the facts shows just how farcical the whole 
thing was. Unfortunately, we have 'learned' 
friends and the media to consider these 
things for us. 

One of the conditions under which Meeh- 
an ended his hunger strike was that Amnes- 
ty- International would be 'investigating' 
his case, which they are doing BUT...aceor- 
ding to their Northern Ireland research off- 
icer, Mr. D.Korsze, they won't be making 
a statment on his case, but "might" include 
it in their overall investigation into the Nor 
them 'special courts' — some consolation 
after their promises to Meehan. It seems 
that Amnesty Internationals policy of 
'not wishing to offend' remains. During 
the Murray's trial in the South, four years 
ago (when two Anarchists were under 
threat of death for 'murdering' an off duty 
guard during a bank robbery), Amnesty 
International kept their mouths firmly clo- 
sed, even under much pressure at a time 
when Noel Murray could have been hung 
at ten days notice.... All that they did (ev- 
entually, when the heat had cooled off) 
was to issue a statement saying that they 
'opposed capital punishment anywhere'. 
Korsze also said that their 'investigation' 
of the Meehan case would be to look for 
"points of concern" and not to "determi* 
ne the innocence of the accused. 

A Licence to Have Sex 

The present Fianna Fail government were 
forced to legalizing contraception on Nov. 
1st 1980 after a decade and a half of angrv 
protest that the extended far outside mino- 
rity and left wing groupings. Family plann- 
ing clinics were set up in defiance of the 
law. Sympathetic Doctors supplied the pill 
to patients for 'period regulation*, and the 
European Court of Human Rights ruled ' 
that it was an infringement on private mor- 
ality to ban the importation of contracept- 
ives for personal use. The Catholic Church 
realized that it was futile to continue their 
protests against new legislation and instead 
started to warn the religious communitv 
that no matter what the state ruled, 
'artificial' contraception was still morally 

The new bill was drawn up by Haughev 
while he was still Minister for Health and 
despite its obviously (Catholic) sectarian 
nature passed through the Dail with little 
difficulty. The wording of this bill is so 
ambiguous as to allow many different inter- 
pretations on its main stipulations. For 
instance anyone supplying the means for 
'artificial' birth control (cling wrap?) must 
apply for a license under the new regulat- 
ions. Contraceptives may only be supplied 
be chemists after a doctor's prescription 
has been produced (this includes non-med- 
ical contraceptives such as condoms and 
spermicides). A doctor or chemist may 
refuse to provide contraceptives on moral 
cont. on back page 


It is still unclear if the hunger strikers gain- 
ed any of their demands; at the moment 
there is a 'trial' period to establish if they 
can wear their own clothes, and when. 
Depending on the outcome there may be 
a resumption of protests. But no matter 
the result, last years campaign should be 
looked at for lessons. There were 2 impor- 
tant areas of concern - 'respectability' and 
The Catholic Church and the Southern 
and oDLP politicians were continually 
appealed to f c. support At one of the big 
Dublin marches, it was declared from the 
platform, 'if you won't lead us Charlie 
(Haughey), step aside'. Apart from the 
fact that we don't need anyone to lead us, 
Haughey, Hume, Blaney (who appeared on 
the platform) and co. are politicians whose 
job is to manage society in the interests of 
bankers, industrialists, property speculat- 
ors, etc. They are in the top echolons of 
the state which maintains and improves 
the wealth and power of the ruling class. 
They are alternatively opportunistic and 
ruthless when it suits their power games. 
The only solution to a hunger strike which 
they will work for is one which leaves 
them powerful and us weak. 
The Catholic bishops are also managers of 
people. They have power interests in prop- 
erty, education and especially people's 
heads. This church is one of the most 
authoritarian and patriarchal organisations 
in the world. It will hardly be a party to 
giving people more power over their lives 
At the local level they channel almost all 
community resources through their hands 
in areas they control. They help reproduce 
the morals of obedience, sexual ignorance, 
guilt and female passivity. At the top of 
the hierarchy they control the school 
system, which conditions each new gener- 
ation of 'catholic' children, and have a 
hefty income from land speculation and 
rent collection. Their power is recognised 
by the NIO, RUC and the British Army 
who consult them on the best methods 
for control. 

When O'Fiach and Daly talked with 
Atkins and Thatcher it was because they 
feared a loss of credibility if they weren't 
seen to be lobbying for 'their flock', and 
because if a hunger striker had died, the 
ensuing bitterness and violence against the 
state would have threatened their control. 
If people want respectability they have it 
in the relatives and supporters who have 
turned out for the protests. They have it 
in themselves! Don't look to these 'manag 
ers' of people. If you think they have mon 
more inflyence because of their power, 
remember that power is gained at your ex- 
pense. They have power because they have 
taken it from you. Once in power they 
will not risk losing it. They will only risk 
it when they fear losin it altogether or 
when they have a chance to increase it. 


There were two structures for the organis- 
ing of protests. Two years ago, the Nation- 
al H block and Armagh committee was 
elected at an open conference in Belfast, 
and last year a new committee was elected 
While it is ideal for the organising of mass 
marches throughout Lreland and for gain- 
ing wide support, it had several short - co- 

Firstly, it was based in Dublin, far from 
the heart of the struggle and it reinforced 
the image of protest against the Northern 
state as coming from Dublin. The committ- 
ee was composed mainly of representatives 
from political parties (Sinn Fein, IRSP, 
PD) and "public figures" who are there for 
respectability and influence. But they have 
sectional influences and, more importantly 
they were not accountable during the year. 
(This is not a detraction from the work 
and risks that they faced. In fact, two of 
them have been shot dead, and Bernadette 
McAliskey seriously injured because of 
their work and public appearances). 
The fundamental relationship between thi 
committee and the other structure, the 
delegate meeting, was one of giving it instn 
uctions. This second structure was made 
up of weekly meetings of two delegates 
from each area where there was a hunger 
strike committee. The delegates reported 
back weekly and were accountable. They 
were in the heart of almost everyday prot- 
est, and knew which strategies were most 
effective. While individuals belonged to 
political parties, there was more pressure 
for them to represent the areas than those 

There were some blind alleys persued by 
the national committee. While mass marc- 
hes increased peoples morale and were 
symbolically powerful, they shouldn't 
have dominated peoples energies. Also, 
the 'respectable' tag conned people into 
thinking that they could get to Armagh 
jail, or the British embassy, while leading 
them to a confrontation where the RUC 
were massed and armed to the teeth. If we 
really wanted to get to the jail or the emb- 
assy, then different tactics might have suc- 
ceeded. Not only did we not get anywhere 
near the destinations, but the National 
committee stewards became a police force 
and were seen to beat people back. Certai- 
nly in Armagh, it would have been suicidal 
to try and break through, but why lead us 
into such -frustrating, one-sided set pieces? 
Delegate meetings with, say, an elected 
committee (accountable) who could prep- 
are the details of protests necessarily in 
secret, would be more productive in the 
organising of effective protests. 
It is quite possible that had the delegate 
structure been the basis for organising, the 
parties (especially Sinn Fein), would 
have moved in and dominated the local 
hunger strike groups, and so the election 
of delegates. But this is a problem which 
would need more space to discuss. 


watched over, inspected, spied on, directed, legis- 
lated, regimented, closed in, indoctrinated, prea- 
ched at, controlled, assessed, evaluated, censored, 
commanded; all by creatures that have neither 
the right, nor wisdom, nor virtue ... To be gov- 
erned means that at every move, operation, or 
transaction one is noted, registered, entered in a 
census, taxed, stamped, priced, assessed, patent- 
ed, licensed, authorised, recommended, admon- 
ished, prevented, reformed, set right, corrected, 
Government means to be subjected to tribute, 
trained, ransomed, exploited, monopolised, 
extorted, pressured, mystified, robbed; all in the 
name of public utility and the general good. 
Then, at the first sign of resistance or word of 
complaint, one is repressed, fined, despised, vex- 
ed, pursued, hustled, beaten up, garroted, impr- 
isoned, shot, machine-gunned, judged, sentenced, 
deported, sacrificed, sold, betrayed, and to cap it 
all, ridiculed, mocked, outraged, and dishonored. 
Dial is government, that is its justice and its mor- 
ality! . . . O human personality! How can it be 
that you have cowered in such subjection for 
sixty centuries? Pierre Joseph Proudon 1 860s 


We applaud the sit - in at the Euro-Weld 
ndustrial plant, considering the passive 
reaction to redundancies in the North, such 
as those at British Enkalon, Courtaulds etc. 
The Euroweld company makes tanks for 
the chemical industry, and is a subsidurary 
of P.X. Nuclear, which is owned by Paul X. 
O'Neill, and his family from Boston. 
The people involved are staging this sit-in 
because of the Owners' proposed redundan 
cies, and eventual closure, due to 'bankru- 
ptcy 1 . Of course this company was to be 
another of those great solutions to unemp- 
loyment, even Atkins was giving O'Neill 
the 'pat on the back' routine. Now, with 
O'Neill gone, Atkins has been left with egg 
on his face. 

One of the workers' representatives said 
that they would like the chance to run the 
factory by themselves, the major problem 
to this being finance, and the state surely 
isn't going to give finance to that sort of 
venture! The workers' believe that the 
grants given to Euroweld before the strike 
were very poorly utilised, and as to where 
the money has gone, O'Neills pocket seems 
to them to be the obvious answer. 

Unionist MP, Peter Robinson is due to 

visit the plant on Thursday 29th, but as 
person pointed out, his motivation is 
purely one of publicity, and not out of 

concern for their problem. Likewise, the 
Union leaders have not given support to 
the sit-in ( So much for Terry Carlin and 
his mouthing about unemployment). As 
usual, they'll probably wait until it's 'safe' 
before making any great protestations ie. 
when the strike is over. Euroweld is part 
of the nuclear establishment (constructing 
boilers for nuclear reactors), and an ideal 
turn in the operation of the company 
would be a rejection of the nuclear indust- 
ry by the workers, in favour of socially use- 
ful production. Even one of the workers 
said that he was opposed to nuclear power 
as the 'final solution' to the energy crisis! 

| energy c 


The ones chosen by the DPP to take the 
stick for the RUCs reputation for brutal- 
ity and sectarianism have appeared in 
court. It's the first time serving' officers 
have been charged - two with the beating 
of J. Rafferty, and one with the shooting 
dead of young Michael McCartan last year. 
In line with the policy of 'criminalisation' 
and the necessity to improve the RUCs 
image, those officers who've been caught 
out are being charged and tried. Whether 
the courts put them away or not won't 
hide the fact that the whole bloody basket 
is rotten! 

Three soldiers recently convicted of the 
multiple stabbing of two farmworkers, 
have been transferred to British jails, in 
contrast to the refusal to allow Irish pris- 
oners in Britain to be transferred here. 
The fourth soldier involved, and in charge 
of the patrol (now a captain) withheld the 
information he had about the killing. He 
received a suspended sentence, again in 
contrast to the long jail terms handed out 
to those who oppose this state. 


Another assassination attempt has been 
made on a H-Block activist. Bernadette 
McAliskey, of the national committee, was 
seriously injured along with her husband 
when a gang broke cown their front door 
and pumped bullers into them. Three 
loyalists are at present in police custody, 
having been caught red-handed by a Brit- 
ish Army patrol. There are a few questions 
unanswered. Did this patrol happen to 
arrive just after (and not before) the 
attack? Why was the patrol there, when it 
wasn't it's patch (which was in S.Armagh)? 

' WORK' r 

Most working class parents' aspirations for 
their son's future was to "get a good 
trade behind you, then you can go any- 
where!". After leaving school I immediat- 
ely began "to serve my time" which is to 
disappear due to the micro chip. For five 
years in working for the firm I was suppo- 
sed to pick up all the skills with the help 
of my workmates and the night courses 
and day release at the Tech. (Whose role 
was more concerned with the history of 
the trade and the traditional way of work- 
ing and were years behind any new tech- 
nological developments of the trade and 
the skills needed). Five years of slave 
labour wages and skills that could be 
learned in two.. .but then the bosses would 
not get that extra three years of cheap 
labour. The unions collaborated even 
more when they introduced a scheme 
when for the first six months of starting 
a firm you were sent to the Tech to learn 
the trade so that you were immediately 
more useful to your employer although 
still serving the full five years. 
The unions supported this system believ- 
ing it somehow enhanced the stature of 
the 'journeyman' who went through the 
same process and therefore deserved the 
high wage and perpetrated the idea that 
the trade was so complicated that it took 
five years to gather the knowledge. 
The first year, until the next apprentice 
came along, was spent going messages for 
the men, doing the most repetitive jobs 
(not necessarily connected with the job), 
and being treated like the general dogs 
body. Most apprentices had a similar 


Some of the workers were referred to as 
the "firm's men". Though they didn't 
have any status such as overseer or forem- 
an, they had an unquestioning loyalty 
towards the boss and always took his 
side and "squalked" on fellow workers. 
Others, through experience, knew how to 
"box clever" and always managed to look 
busy when the manager was around and 
farted around when he wasn't. 
Most just kept their heads down, grinding 
on and taking orders. I suppose the back- 
bone of production. 

In all the time I worked there (six years), 
I never saw any stoppages. true Ulster 
tradition... .and only once was there a 
threatened overtime ban for an extra 
pittance a week, which the employer gave 
almost immediately and at the same time 
chopped an hour off the regular four hour 
Saturday morning overtime which meant 
you didn't run into double time on the 
last hour. 

Any national wage claims the union made 
to the employers body were done in 
Britain, and strike action was done over 
there, as Northern Ireland was a 'special 
case'. The only sacrifice which the Belfast 
lads made was a voluntary donation for 
the men who were out on the strike. 
Women working in the firm even when on 
an identical job as men got about half the 
wage. Our union wouldn't allow women 
admittance. The men in the firm accepted 
this situation and perpetrated it, knowing 
that any solidarity with the women would 
undermine the whole basis of the 'craft' 
system and their status. 

Unions were organised on a craft basis and 
subsequently wage negotiation became 
even more difficult as they were not only 
competing with other unions represented 
in the firm but also fighting the employer 

"From Loyalism to Anarchism" 

by Alb.,, m mm i 
Cienfuegos Press have just published 'The 
Meaning of Anarchism' by JR White, with 
an introduction 'From Loyalism to Anar- 
chism' by Albert Meltzer. 
James Robert White (always called Jack) 
was born at Whitefields, Broughshane near 
Ballymena into a rich Protestant landown- 
ing family. All through his life, however, 
he rejected his privileged position and 
fought for what he believed to be right, 
rather than doing as most Loyalists did in 
defending what they felt to be their own 
interests (in fact the Loyalist working class 
were and have only been defending the 
interests of their bosses). 
White struggled, along with James Conn- 
olly, to try and set up a Socialist Republic 
and it was White who proposed the format 
ation of the Irish Citizen Army. 
He later led the Irish Republican Brigade 
against Franco's forces in the Spanish 
Civil War. It was in Spain that White first 
came into contact with anarchist ideas. He 
was very impressed by the way thise ideas 
were into practice in Spain, so much so 
that after only a few months he became a 
committed Anarchist. He later went to 
England to try and get support (and arms ) 
for the Spanish Anarchists. 
In England, White first met Matt Kavanagh 
a Liverpool-Irish Anarchist, and they work 
ed on a survey of Irish Labour and its 
aspirations from an Anarchist perspective. 
White also wrote a study of the Cork 
'soviet'. These works are,however,lost as 
his heirs destroyed his papers when he diec 
in 1940. The 'Meaning of Anarchism' is 
therefore the only availavle work by White 
The pamphlet is divided into two parts - 
The first explaining Anarchist theory by 
contrasting it to Marxism and the second 
part applying this to the events of the 
Spanish Civil War. 

copies AVAIL AQUL fgDM {fop} 
7vt>T 7«iN6r4 Ye KN ft., 

In the first part White clearly exposes the 
lack of logic expressed by Marxists with 
their nonsensical theories of destroying th 
state by seizing power (thus actually bec- 
oming the state and they will hardly work 
to meke themselves 'wither away') and 
their Pseudo-Mystical bunk about Scient- 
ific Socialism. 

This is contrasted with Anarchist thought 
which rejects the seizure of power as ult- 
imately corrupting those who seize it (ie. 
the state cannot 'wither away' over a peric 
period of time- must be smashed)and subs 
titutes voluntarism and spontaniety for th 
Marxists' mechanical faith in the 'inevit- 
ability' of a Socialist Revolution occurring 
and being followed by a 'Socialist' State 
which will "wither away" to be replaced 
by a stateless Communist Society (where 
everyone will live happily ever after) 
White takes as examples the 1916 
rebellion in Dublin and the Russian Revol- 
ution which show that Marxist analysis 
is far too mechanical to be totally relevant 
as it fails to take into account human 
factors such as spontaniety and voluntari- 
sm which can be expressed better in 
Anarchist theory. 

In short, what Marxists actually suggest is 
a political revolution whereby one hier- 
archial state is replaced by an alternative 
hierarchial state. 

What Anarchists demand is a social revol- 
ution where all hierarchial institutions are 
smashed and people are able to organise 
their own lives without any outside force 
exerting its will on them. 
The second part of the pamphlet <oses 
some of its relevance to today because at 
the time it was written White was applying 
his arguments to the "recent history of 
Spain" which is not recent history any- 
more. Nonetheless, for anyone who knows 
something of the history of the Spanish 
Civil War it is well worth reading. 
Whites pamphlet, and Meltzer's introduct- 
ion show the logic of Anarchism and to 
some extent its relevance to Ireland today. 
If the Northern Irish people are to replace 
the chaos of modern capitalist society 
with a society based on mutual respect anc 
and freedom (and I would say that this is 
only possible in an Anarchist society),it is 
a priorority that the British presence (mil- 
itary, economic and cultural) be removed. 
For this new society to must erad- 
icate the existing sectarian division in the 
working class. As Jack White said, "My 
aim is to unite Irishmen against English 
men, not to divide them among themselve: 

who set one union off against another. 
High wages were not dictated by the 
relative skill or knowledge needed for the 
job but by the militancy of the union's 

As new technology was introduced there 
were frequent disputes between the 
unions as to whose members would 
operate the new equipment. This disunity 
only served the employer. 
I remember the employer introduced a 
yearly bonus scheme. Some of the profits 
were to be shared out to the workers. The 
amount was completely at his discretion 
and was the minimum amount needed to 
keep us quiet. Naturally he gave the most 
money to the workers who were most 
likely to protest about the amount and 
relatively little to the quiet workers 
(usually old) whose consistent work 
deserved more. This inequality caused bad 
feeling amoungst the workers towards each 
other and defused any attempt for us to 
demand a greater share of the profits. 
I also remember that the majority of the 
people working in the firm felt that if the 
firm were to close the EMPLOYER would 

have the most to lose. They didn't see that 
all one hundred of us would suffer individ- 
ually whilst he was only one person and 
had lots of other sources of seedy income. 
This somehow demonstrated the respect 
which the workforce had for the 'leader' 
and felt themselves irresponsible for their 
own future. 

The owner was from a family of your 
typical landed gentry. A Unionist land- 
owner with a long tradition of inherited 
wealth and power through years of 
exploitation. He belonged to a faceless 
tight little lot, who spent their days 
following the usual lordly pursuits such 
as fox hunting and had their hand stuck in 
every dirty little business in Belfast over 
two centuries. Being a very physically 
tall family this only reinforced their aloof 
position to their employees whom they 
regarded with contempt and arrogance. 
He may have been at one time the top 
layer of the Ulster capitalist cake but now 
finds himself being eaten by the much 
larger fish, the multi-nationals and their 
take over bids. 

cont. from front page 

One example is Euroweld (PX Nuclear) 
which is closing down with the loss of 240 
jobs after receiving a massive state grant in 
the forecast it would employ more. Howev- 
er it is now m debt to the tune of LVA m.. 
no doubt paid out to directors and share- 

State capitalism, or nationalism, does little 
to improve the economic position of the 
country. The workers get no say in how 
they work but are controlled by state bur- 
eaucrats who relate to them in exactly the 
same way as private industry'. The workers 
have no control of profits which are hand- 
led by faceless state bureaucrats. 
If faced with redundancy :• 
Don't expect your representatives (MPs or 
Trade Union bureaucrats) to be able to do 
anything. They have done fuck all so far. 
Directly negotiate yourselves, and try to 
get to some position of strength and 
occupy the factory to prevent any removal 
of machinery. Get the cooperation of the 
remaining workforce and the support of 
any other workers who can put pressure 
on the bosses. Try to turn it into a workers- 
cooperative producing socially useful 

Any industrial action should be aimed at 
getting public sympathy and not public 
outrage which the national press publicises 
so well. In the recent Citybus strike their 
only tactic was to stop operating the bus 
service, therefore people had to walk to 
work. Why couldn't they have let people 
travel free? (No doubt too revolutionary 
for the conservative trade union bureau- 


The people that do have a job, or have just 
had a pay rise shouldn't lie back counting 
their blessings but should actively show 
solidarity with workers who are fighting 
to protect theirs. It could be your turn 
nextlNext Issue:Unemploved? Don'tjust sit there 


Can I raise a few points/questions arising 
from the 'More Political Prisoners' article 
in the last O.C.P 

'Theft takes place on many levels and often 
is very individualistic'. I think its a/most 
a/ways individualistic: the small minority 
being the politico robberies. You don 't 
mention the other levels at all - ie. tax, 
lease hire (banks), (capital I accept is too 
big a one to go into in such an article), 
councillors buying green belt land and re- 
zoning it as industrial or residential, comp- 
any cars, dinners etc., bankruptcy writeoffs 
post-tax-relief-period, factory closures, 
politicians' perks like free travel etc. 
Perhaps they are too long to mention. And 
all the psychologically induced levels, ie. 
free this , that and the other for priests and 
nuns etc. 

Lit is also anti-social, or counter-revolution- 
ary, as the rantings of the media would have 
it ... '. Since when have the media taken to 
using the phrase 'counter-revolutionary'? 
Anti-social, yes, every day, but counter- 
revolutionary? Were you referring to 
Poland here? Its not very clear. 
We do not want to justfiy such acts, we 
want to prevent them etc. ' This sentence I 
find really mystifying I'm afraid! Will 
understanding anarchy prevent crime? 
People identifying the real criminals won't 
either. If anything, both of these justify 
crime by those a/redy engaged in it, though 
possibly against different targe rs. Also one 
reason why most crime is localised and not 
against the rich is that (a) no bus fare/ 
stolen car needed to get to area, and (b) no 
rich houses have alarmed houses, guard 
dogs etc. ie. There are practical reasons too 


Three men - Patrick McCann, Colm O'Shea 
and Peter Pringle - were sentenced in Nov. 
to hang by the Special Criminal Court in 
Dublin for the murder of a policeman. An 
appeal against the sentence has been lodg- 
ed and is due to come up in a couple of 
months time. Whether they will hang or 
not is questionable. Haughey will want to 
maintain his liberal image aming his EEC 
friends and so this could be in their favour. 
But against them is the fact that the cop 
was uniformed (the point that the cop in 
the Murrays' case was not in uniform, was 
a big factor in their appeal). Also another 
cop was killed in Wexford and the state 
could see hanging as a way of detering 
attacks against members of the security 
forces (which is unlikely to work), or more 
simply as a means of revenge. 

No Nukes? 

A long time ago, the Irish govenors claim- 
ed their decision as to whether to build 
nuclear stations at Carnsore Point in Co. 
Wexford (and possibility elsewhere), 
would have to be delayed. ...until an EEC 
report on the nuclear nightmare at Harris- 
burg (USA) in March'79 was published. 
Nearly two years later radio-active leaks 
are still occuring which has stopped 
technical experts from fully examining 
the nuclear plant. Nevertheless, the EEC 
have managed to commission a report 
which marvels at the SAFETY of nuclear 
stations like that at 3-mile-island!! So 
enthusiastic are they, that they do away 
with the notion that nuclear reactors 
should be built well away from centres of 
population. ...such faith in the ultimate 
killer-technology also encourages the 
doing away with much of the actual labor. 
This is to be replaced with automation, 
with a few migrant workers trying to 
ensure that the right buttons get pushed 
at the right time. 

No technology is developed in a vacuum 
and clearly it is no coincidence that nuc- 
lear power is being developed and pushed 
the world over by to-days mad rulers. 
They'll never see any further than the 
technology in front of them. So no won- 
der this 'independent' report by 'high 
level experts' FROM THE NUCLEAR 
INDUSTRY are threatening our very 
existence by producing a report with the 
most pro-nuclear enthusiasm ever. 
So what are Haughey, Colley and their 
backers to do now? Wait until after the 
May general election. ..yes. ..but maybe 
the exchange of gas to Belfast for Kilroot 
electricity will slow down their plans for 
a nuclear Ireland. Maybe not. With the 
EEC report so much in favour of nuclear 
power, a nuclear Carnsore could be start- 
ed sooner rather than later! And maybe 
the Northern Ireland Electricity Service 
could find the solution to the problems 
at Kilroot with a little reactor? 

cont. from front page 

grounds (ie. if they think that 'artifical' 
contraception is morally wrong). They can 
also refuse if they believe the contraceptive 
is not going to be used for 'Bona Fida' 
family planning purposes. 
This bill is totally unacceptable to anyone 
who believes in the liberty of the individual, 
and so the campaign for 'contraception on 
demand' still goes on. Although some clin- 
ics have decided to apply for licences, 
(which means they must now employ a tun 
time chemist in the clinics) a couple have 
decided to continue in defiance of the law, 
and haven't as yet been challenged. Althou- 
gh the medical and pharmaceutical unions 
have largely remained silent (well they're 
going to make money out of this aren't 
they?) some doctors are refusing to see 
those patients who want non-medical 
contraceptives and leave them instead with 
their receptionists to be sold on demand. 
Contraception Action Programme continue 
to set up a stall in Dandelion Green as 
do the students Union in U.C.D. and 
Trinity which supply non-medical contrac- 
eptives and supply information on other 

It is hard to know how the Bill is working 
for those who want contraceptives for 
'bona fide' purposes and can afford the 
doctors and chemists charge and who are 
not embarrassed or infuriated by the rig- 
marole they must go through to obtain 
them, but there are many reports of large 
areas (eg. the midlands) where the chemists 
are not even stocking contraceptives, with 
many doctors and chemists availing of the 
conscience clause as they were told to do 
by the church. The government of course 
claims that it is working perfectly well but 
then they would. Within the next two 
weeks C.A.P. are starting an investigation o 
of the Bill at work in the Dublin area and 
the results of this should be known within 
a month. 

Martin Lynch, with his plays based 
on the lives of Belfast working class 
people, finally reached the gin and 
tonic scene at the Lyric Theatre this 

Although it was obvious that he had put a 
lot of effort into Dockers, a play similar in 
tone to his other plays, Taking Down the 
Barricades and Is There Life Before Death, 
what finally emerged after the Lyric Play- 
ers had added that certain sophisticated 
something was a parody of Belfast people. 
The actors at the Lyric never change. You 
could put them into any part of any play 
and you would still get the same character. 
Dockers was an excellent vent for them. 
They all played cartoon versions of them- 
selves, and the main character (so I was 
told at the interval: it wasn't in evidence) 
a 'militant trade-unionist' gave a choice 
portrayal as a wooden cliched hack, a 
typical CP joke figure. 
What infuriated me was the definition 
given to workers grovelling over the 
crumbs the employers thought fit to 
throw them and fighting amongst them- 
selves to get them. Thats anarchy, if you 
don't mind. Well, I do, and I am only 
sorry I wasn't fast enough to shout 'fuck 
off to the resident socialist playwright at 
the Lyric. 

Dockers is not a bad play, though like a 
political James Young play, but it is wast- 
ed at the Lyric. Such theatre is dead: 
Martin Lynch should never have left the 
community, the people his plays are about, 
at least there, you have a chance of discuss- 
ion afterwards about trade unionism and 
its abysmal record in Northern Ireland. 
Don't anchor yourself at the Lyric, Martin 
Lynch, its not where its at. 


SUPPLEMENT. Published by the 

Belfast Anarchist Collective, 7 Winetavern Street, Belfast 1 

Any state and it's army need an effective 
communications system.... both within 
the country and between other states. 
Its survival depends on it Thus the air- 
waves are zealously guarded from inter- 
ference by those outside its magic circle. 
Control of these forms of communication: 
whether underground trunk cables, micro- 
wave radar, or a top priority. 
Total control is a strong point of any state 
but also potentially its weakest 

Every radio mast, radar centre.telephone 
cable or whatever... is designed NOT for 
our pleasure and entertainment, but for 
purposes of war and control, for the 
launching of attacks (including nuclear) 
and for communicating from one secret 
bunker to another, whether the war be 
between countries or within its own 
borders. Without microwave, for instance, 
we wouldn't have colour television. ..but 
it was designed as a comprehensive radar 
system for the timely launching of nuclear 

destruction any so-called benefits to 

us are purely incidental. That little innoc- 
uous mast blurting out BBC rubbish can 
to-morrow be used in the death of thous - 
ands of people. Ireland , and particularly 
northern Ireland is by no means exempt 
from this nuclear night-mare. A network 
of facilities have been secretly developed 
in Ireland, for war-use by the legal RAF, 
the United States Air Force (USAF)and 

Some RAF bases in Britain and Ireland 
have been "earmarked and stock-piled" 
for use by the USAF, operating in the 
world interests of the US military (and in 
particular the infamous National Security 
Agency) all quite seperate from NATO. 
The USAF operate a network of comm- 
unications separate from the Post Office 
and the Ministry of Defence. In Ireland, 
this intelligence infrastructure takes the 
form of ground-based listening posts 
which, up to the rise of Reagan, were under 
the direct control of US war-monger Z. 
Brezinski. All these radar listening posts 
are linked into US-controlled Menwith 
Hill in England, the largest satellite comm- 
unications centre in the world. Menwith 
Hill is linked to the RAF radar post at 
Bishopscourt in Co. Down, and indirectly 
to the south of Ireland via another micro- 
wave post at Dead Mans Hill, near New- 
townhamilton in S.Armagh. (Amongst 
other things, the facilities at Menwith 
Hill make national and international 
phone-tapping a relatively simple exercise) 
While Bishopscourt is obstensively run by 
the RAF, it is at the disposal of the Amer- 
ican military. The Americans also have 
3 communications bases in Ireland which 
are independent of the Post Office and 
the Ministry of Defence. These sites are at 
Slievenorra (W.of Cushendall), dungiven, 
and Cushendall. 

Important to US war interests as these 
three sites undoubtedly are, the most im- 
portant link to the US and NATO are the 
facilities made available at Bishopscourt, 
which in turn links all over the north. 
Bishopscourt is part of Britains Broadband 
Relay Network.. ..a microwave radar 
system which carries colour television and 
some telephone traffic. That's one use.... 
it was developed with other motives in 
mind., support for military 
communications radar, air attack, spurs to 
other radar stations forming part of the 
NATO nuclear attack system. 

A network of facilities have 
been secretly developed in 
Ireland for war-use by the 
legal RAF, the United States 
Air Force and NATO 

(The micro- 
wave system includes a link to the secret 
British military government HQ at Chelt- 
enham, where the 'war effort' will be 

The microwave system is due for intense 
development, to complement the US space 
surveillance technology which is presently 
being developed even further. That noted 
quiet liberal - Carter - managed to pass 
the biggest military budget in US history 
before handing over to Reagan. Carter and 
the rest of the US military machine upped 
war spending by 4% (beyond inflation) 
to the staggering sum of £79,000,000,000 
for THIS YEAR ALONE!! Reagan intends 
upping this even further, and part of the 
proceeds will be spent in increasing the 
"effectiveness" of its European radar 
networks, including its independent and 
RAF-loaned posts in Ireland. (The rest 
will be used to develop nuclear submarines 
B-1 bombers, greater air-lift capacity to 
get US troops to Europe using giant CX 
cargo aircraft, and satellites) . The US 
thinking is that a nuclear war could be 
fought in Europe or the Middle East and 
could be WON by the US. ...and to do so 
it needs a check-board of airfields and 
radar throughout Europe to be placed at 

its disposal to either launch a nuclear 

attack on the Soviet Union... or to shift 
troops quickly to the GULF to ensure 
that the big machine called America 
doesn't run out of oil. Likewise they 
believe that Soviet retaliation could be via 
the 'back-door route' round the back of 
Britain and over Ireland. So those ground 
based communication posts at Dungiven, 
Skevenorra and Cushendall are vital (rem- 
ember theUSAF base at Derry which clos- 
ed down in 1977. ...It's use was as a comm- 
unications link to Polaris submarines in 
the Norwegan Sea - this role has now 
passed on to Thuro in the extreme north 
of Scotland). ...Vital too are the R.A.F. 
facilities on loan.War is a REAL possibility 
with the US prepared to spend a fortune 
in Europe, and with a mad general (Haig) 
given the post of Secetary of State (Haig's 
message to other Nato countries - Haig is 
ex- head of NATO— is spend, spend, 
spend. ...get ready for war). 

So with the US leading willing western 
governments towards war.... it's best to 
know what part in this catastrophe Ireland 
is expected to play.... 

Once the US decide that their war is 
imminent, Britain and Ireland go on a war 
footing, the whole nuclear standby system 
and standby airfields swing into operation 
for real. The centre for military operations 
is most likely in Armagh, where a secret 
underground bunker was dug out into a 
hill beside Gough Barracks in the late '50s. 
This secret underground military bunker 
is equipped with sufficient room and supp- 
lies for 100 or more military and some 
civilian people. It would be from here that 
our administrators and controllers would 
stay out of harms way while the rest of us 
went through the night mare of nuclear 
holocaust. The secret bunker is linked to 
the British army land forces HQ at Wiltsh- 
ire by a series of emergency circuits. (there 
are also secret switchboards manned by 
the military at Portadown, Derry, Ballym- 
ena and Downpatrick). Armagh is also lin- 
ked to the overall British radar system by 
routing through a small radar station at 
Cromhill South east of Ballymena( it 
looks more than a bungalow with a mast). 
Cromhill has similar links to a secret stati- 
on, at Shanes Hill, South West of Larne. 
From there it feeds into the main British 
network via Scotland. 

The vital link in the radar chain is at 
RAF Bishops Court in County Down, It 
has radar equipment clearly visible above 
ground, although the main centre of oper- 
ations is buried beneath the airfield. Bisho- 
ps court watches signals linked by micro- 
wave radio channels fed through a station 
on the side of Black mountain at Standings 
Stone Hill. Bishops court is not an "early 
warning system", though it is linked to 
the overall British microwave system which 
includes "early warning'.' It is used as a 
tactical control unit. direct the subm- 
arines, helicoptors and planes (both RAF 
and USAF) about to launch their destruct- 
ion. It is an essential part of the Western 

The route of the radar and data signals 
is from Bishops Court to Ballygomartin, 
and Black mountain ( Standing Stones Hill, 
on to Portpatrick in Scotland, and thence 
to the computerised centre at West Dray 
-ton in England. A back up alternative rou- 
te exists from Black Mountain to Dead 
Mans Hill in South Armagh, and then, via 
Dublin, to Wales and Drayton. 
(This isn't the only link with the South. 
So-called Irish 'neutrality' was never more 
than an was merely the case 
that successive Irish governments would 
not join any military alliances (e.g. NATO) 
in which Britain was a member. But since 
joining the EEC such splendid isolation 
is a myth. EEC defence policy exists., 
an attack on one is an attack on all. 
Ireland won't be joining NATO, but sees 
no contradiction in forming an agreement 
with the USA for Shannon airport to be 
used in times of "emergency" (i!e! US 
agression). It would be used to airlift US 
troops using huge carrier aircraft. Ireland 
won't necessarily be supplying troops in 

the next US-attack nuclear war it will 

merely allow its radar and airport facilities 
be used. That is all the US needs. Their 
missiles do the killing. 

The role of Ireland in a western nuclear 
war is not restricted to the use of radar 
stations and airfields.. may have more 
DIRECT uses. Remember Ballykelly 

RAF station in Derry how a "few acres 

in Derry helped defend the free world" 
by providing a communications link to 
polaris submarines in the Norwegian Sea.... 
supposedly shut down in 1977 and handed 
over to the army, renamed Shackelton 
Army Barracks. However, there are still 
RAF people on the site. ..and it is used by 
Anti-Submarine Warfare Sea King helicopt 
ers which normally operate from Cornwall 
Northumberland and Lossiemouth in the 
Moray Firth in Scotland. A-S-W Sea Kings 
use Ballykelly once again an important 
western station now that nuclear war 
strategists feel that they need to plug the 
gaps on the Western seaboard if they are 
to annihilate all they wish Eastwards in 
Asia. ASW Seakings carry anti-submarine 
NUCLEAR depth charges, and amongst 
other things , the prospect of submarine 
nuclear warfare is high on the US-National 
Security Agency thinking for the future, 
judging by the latest budget allocations. 
How much of the billions will reagan 
spend in Derry? The facilities at Ballykelly 
will most certainly be up-graded, just like 
the radar system at Bishopscourt in Co. 
Down. Ballykelly has the added advantage 
of being close to a secret government 
site at Brenbradagh Mountain (which is 
near Dungiven where an independent USA 
USAF radio channel exists). Brenbradagh 
Mt. has an underground (secret) storage 
facility for nuclear weapons, possibly the 
only site in Ireland for storing such devices. 
We should be wary of under-estimating 
what NATO (i.e. NSA of America) plan 
for Ballykelly and Bishopscourt.. .people 
in Britain were told that cruise missiles 
were to be put on their doorstep only after 
the US military had made the decision. 

So Ireland becomes part of the US war 
games... and that is why during the recent 
NATO war-games (operation crusader) 
much of the North was listed as being 
obliterated by Soviet nuclear weapons 
in response to them being attacked by the 
USA. (Though the military and civilian 
few will survive in their radiation-proofed 

Ireland won't necessarily be 
supplying troops in the next 

US attack nuclear 
will merely allow it's radar 
and airport facilities to be 

secret bunkers, communicating and direct- 
ing through an extensive radar system.) 
Generally speaking, ALL radar is mixed 
up somewhere with either the British 
system, or the independent USA/NSA 
system. Some secret radar stations and 
underground bunkers have been identified 
in this article. ..others have yet to be dis- 
covered.** It would do no harm to 
watch very carefully and see how the 
war-mongerers of the USA intend spending 

the £79,000,000,000 it has allocated for 
warfare during 1981. 

* For instance, how much is there underground 
at Danescroft Farm between Hillsborough and 
Lisburn? Is it just an innocent bungalow with 

a radio mast like all those other little 

bungalows in England whieh mastermind 
nuclear warfare? 

The next Workers Research Bulletin due 
out late February should have much of 
interest to add. 



It has been estimated that 80% or more 
of all cancers in people are caused by 
environmental factors, probably to a large 
extent by synthetic chemicals. Even more 
frightening,however, is the realisation that 
these chemicals, as well as causing cancer, 
are also producing genetic damage in those 
exposed to them. While tests are done on 
many chemicals to ensure their 'safety', 
it is public knowledge in the US that much 
of this data is false, and in many cases 
companies have distorted safety data, and 
suppressed reports that indicate that chem 
icals they are producing or using, cause 
cancer and other damage. 


Cork City and county is one of the most 
concentrated areas of toxic development 
in Ireland— Pfizer, Penn, NET, Mitsui, 
Elanco,Raybestos, etc. — yet Matt Whelan 
Chief Environmental Officer of Cork 
County Council, has admitted that 
effective day-to-day monitoring, of poll- 
ution in Cork 'is far beyond the capabil- 
ities of the council'. 
We are producing this map to show the 
national impact of toxic industry -of whi- 
ch nuclear is but one part -on Ireland. We 
believe that, while each industry must be 
fought in it's local area, the continued de- 
velopment of this industry threatens us 
all and therefore the fight against it must 
also have a national dimension. We include 
both industries already set up ('progress' 
reports) and those planned (coming attrac- 
tions). We would welcome information on 
the following plants: Snia, Loctite, Ciba - 

Geigy, I.X. We'd also like to point out that 
while toxic chemicals are the main produc- 
ts in the industries on the map, many mat- 
erials which pose a grave threat to the hea- 
lth of workers, such as organic solvents, 
are used widely throughout industry. Nor 
have we included such other obvious thre- 
ats to workers health as noise and vibratio 
-n in this short space. 


The pull out by Raybestos in Ovens in Co. 
Cork does not end the struggle against the 
use of this killer dust in Ireland. In 1978, 
about 7000 tons of asbestos was imported 
into Ireland: only about 250 tons of it was 
used by Raybestos. About 5000 tons is 
used each year by the TEGRAL group of 
companies, a subsidurary of CEMENT - 

These companies have been in operation 
since 1938, and until 1976 were known as 
Asbestos Cement Ltd. (Athy) and asbestos 
cement pipes ltd. (Drogheda). A spokesper 
son for the two companies in 1978 admitt 
ed that they dumped about 1500 tons of 
asbestos cement waste each year at their 
dumps in Drogheda and Athy. 

A report in the Irish Press (26/5/78) spoke 
of an unnamed company in the West of 
Ireland which had disposed of two plastic 
bags of asbestos waste a week on the near- 
by local authority dump since the late fift- 

SYNTEX -Clarecastle, Co. Clare. Workers 
at this pharmaceutical plant had to sign 
statments saying that they would not sue 
the company if they became sterile. Repo- 
rts of male workers developing breasts ind- 
icates sex -hormone work perhaps. 

ESSILOR -Ratheen, Limerick. 13 people 
hospitalised, 40 workers evacuated from 
the factory after exposure to trichorethle- 
ne. (TRIS) 

HYGEIA -Galway. Galway noxious indus- 
try group reports that the herbicide 2.4,5- 
T is produced by Hygeia in Galway. This 
is commonly contaminated with DIOXIN 
the chemicaL involved in the Seveso disaste 
r and has caused birth defects in workers 
exposed to it throughout the world. Fores- 
try and wildlife service used 600 gallons of 
it in 1977. 

CHEMBIOTIC -Brinny, Innishannon. 
Schering Plough subsidurary. manufacture? 
-es antibiotics. Responsible for at least two 
fish kills, one woman reported to have 
been sick as a result of the smell. 

SILVERMINES: Tailings pond at MOGU 
-L mine burst into Kilmasytulla River. Th- 
ousands of Co. Limerick people warned 
not to drink the water as the spillage was 
"dangerous and may be toxic" (14/10/80) 
DUMETCO -Lead. Over 20,000 people in 
Tallaght have signed a petition protesting 
against the granting of planning permission 
to Dumetco for a lead factory at a local 
industrial estate. The factory, which will 
be grant aided by the IDA and will employ 
less than twenty, will be situated near hou- 
sing estates with large numbers of children 
under 13 -that part of the population most 
at risk. Studies show that high levels of 
lead in the atmosphere affect the reproduc 
-tive systems of both women and men, 
increasing the chance of miscarriage, and 
decreasing the sperm count. Lead affects 
children especially, causing lowered intell- 
ectual capacities, and a number of behavi- 
oral disorders, including hyperactivity. 

300 miles off shore 
nuclear dumping by 
O.E.CD, toxic dumping 
by Denmark. 

"OURTAULDS - Rayon Synthetic fibres 
Synthetic fibres 

I.C.I. -Synthetic^ 


Synthetic fibres 

BELFAST -Low levelf 
radioactive waste. 

Uranium Prospecting— MOURNES 


TEGRAL -Asbestos] 

DUMSINK -Toxic waste] 


TA L LAG HT - Du metco (lead) 

KILL - Toxic dump 
TEGRAL -Asbestos 

Uranium prospecting. 

WICKLOW -Drilling tests 
for nuclear waste 


Toxic dump 

THOMASTOWN -Uranium prospecting 



WHIDDY -Explosi' 
at oil terminal 

MITCHELSTOWN -Chromium dumped 

INISHANNON mitqii. m ^ 

^MITSUI -Manganese dioxide 

ALLIHIES -Uranium prospecting RAYBESTOS -asbestos ^ 

NEJ^ Ammonia 

asbesdos dump 

NOHOVAL -Toxic dump 


A 1 A CARN" 

CARNSORE proposed nuclear 


ELANCO (Eli Lilly) Due to open in Sept- 
ember near Kinsale, Cork Co .council have 
given them permission to manufacture 1 1 
categories of unspecified drugs. Few peop- 
le know what the plant will produce as 
Elanco claim that it is a commercial secret. 
What is known, though, is that Elanco hav- 
e been given permission to discharge over 
88 metals and chemicals into air and water 
including mercury, vinyl cyanide and 
poly chlorinated biphenyls (PBC's) which 
have been banned in America because the> 
accumulate in human tissue, especially in 
breast milk. The permissable discharge of 
cyanide is twice that allowed in America. 

MITSUI -Little Island. Japanese owned 
plant produces levels of manganese above 
the levels permitted in other countries ie. 
5 milligrammes per cubic metre. 

N.E.T. -Arklow. Immediate area around 
factory devistated. Reports of abnormally 
high cancer rates amoung workers. Resul- 
ts of an I.I.R.S. survey of the plants envir- 
omental impact kept secret. 

N.E.T. -Marino Point, Cork. Many leaks 
in the plants first year of operation. Local 
people affected 

MERCK,SHARPE and DOM HE -Carrick- 
on -Suir. In Janurary 1979, a chemical 
explosion ripped the plant apart, three 
workers were saved from death by split 
seconds. Effluents are discharged involving 
one million gallons of water a day at 25c. 
and dissolved and suspended solids consis- 
ting of chloride, sulphate, sulphide, ammo- 
nia, nitrate, phosphate, cyanide, phenols, 
detergents, mercury, lead, copper, zinc, 

cadmium, nickel and chromium. 

WHIDDY -Bantry Bay -Thirty workers 
murdered by Gulf and Total negligence. 

Foxwood, Hill Rd, Bunratty, Co. Clare. 
Hazardous solid and liquid wastes. Count- 
ry wide operation. Private dump at Friars- 
town, Co. Limerick. 
SERVICE, Siogramar,Kilcrea,Ovens,Co. 
Cork.Chemicals,Oils,sludges.Cork City and 
county operation. Dump unspecified.. 
Estate, Fermoy, Co. Cork. Wastes needing 
neutralisation or detoxification before dis- 
posal. All Ireland operation. Unspecified 
private dump. 

Wm. O'BRIEN LTD, Upper Ballymount, 
Clondalkin. Some toxic wastes. Use Kill 
and Ballyeally dumps. 
nstown Ave, Dublin 12. Sludges, private 
tip, Kildare, Ballyeally (local authority). 

In the meantime, while the state goes ahead 
through the courts , in it's attempts to 
force a dump on the farmers of Nohoval, 
in Co. Cork. Dublin Co. Council are plan- 
ning to open a toxic waste dump in Dunsi- 
nk, near Finglas. According to them, there 
are 370 firms which are having problems 
disposing of toxic waste at the moment. 
They hope to use the stop gap measure of 
this dump to relieve pressure until the 

state comes up with it's final 'solution' to 
this problem. 


LCI. (Carrickfergus), COURT AULDS 
(Derry and Carrickfergus), DU-PONT (De- 
rry),HOECHST(Limavady) MONSANTO 
(Colerane), and BRITISH ENKALON 
(Antrim) are all petrochemical based, high 
energy consumers. Amoung the products 
made are: Orion, Neoprene, Nylon, Polye- 
ster, Viscose, and Terylene. 

Effluent from these plants is carried direc- 
tly by pipe to the Belfast and Foyle lough 
-s. An eye witness stated that the sewage 
pipe from the Hoechst plant entered the 
sea near the 'Mussenden Temple', a beauty 
spot in North Derry, between the seaside 
villiages of Castlerock and Downhill; and 
that the sea around this outlet had been 
turned into "a slimy jelly-like green subst- 
ance!'Caustic soda is, or was until recently, 
ly, stored at the harbour in Carrickfergus. 

Uranium prospecting is being carried out 
in various parts of the country by a num- 
ber of multinational mining companies, 
with the aid of E.E.C. funding. 

In the course of the various mining proces- 
ses (test drilling, trenching etc.) radiation 
is released into the soil, air, surface water 
and, eventually, humans and animals. 
Should Uranium be discovered in commer- 
cially viable quantities, the damage to 
land and life as a result of any mining 
would be impossible to estimate. 

OU6fc <H(. PAST y€/\*S tiVA -fcCH^oW&y H«5 ftttM TM£ k€V Wo^ 
Po£6S ft <rt<^«*T t* ouH, <uro(l.e } ou* tMiCO^jf^ ou* <_^*jj> (J^ 

Donal, Just Books, 

60, Marlbourgh Rd, 7, Winetavern St, 
Dublin. Belfast 1. Ph. 25426. 


An asumption of today in the kind of 'welfare' 
capitalist society we live in is that the magic force 
of the market will satisfy most human needs and 
that the government welfare bureaucracies will meet 
the rest. However, the shortage of housing is just 
one problem that the state can't deal with. The 
state is not concerned with human beings and how 
they live. it, they are objects. be used, abused 
and manipulated. The state is concerned with power 
and privilidges etc...( In effect, concerned with it's 
own self-preservation). 

The state^and private enterprises concept of what 
housing should be are not very different. The major 
difference between the two arises over profitability. 
Private enterprise will build when the price is right. 
The state builds when its economic policy demands 
an injection into the economy to stimulate growth, 
its an instrument to be used in the same way as tax- 
es are. What neither do, especially the state, is build 
houses, communities etc.. .which people want. To 
suggest that to build more houses and increase 
housing stock is the answer to housing problems is 
naive to say the least. 

One of the major problems of housing is the way 
in which we are forced to live.. ..if it was just a 
question of stock, then why are great parts of Crai- 
gavon and other estates empty? The way then that 
we are forced to live is in nuclear units, which are 
the mordern capitalists dream.. ..the smallest numb- 
er to live in one building and be proportionately 
the greatest consumers. 

The old street communities of back to back houses and of 
the extended families were smashed with the tearing down 
of the inner city and the random allocation of new houses 
in urban housing estates. The extended family as a living 
community had many problems as well as being noted for 
some good points on the areas of personal relationships and 
on consumerism. Firstly families didn't feel so isolated as 
their counter-parts in the new housing estates.. ..if the kids 
were getting you down they could always go to their grand- 
parents three doors up,while you cleared your head. Likew- 
ise if your Ma and Da were getting you down a couple of 
nights spent at your cousins would take the pressure off. 

On a consumption level every family didn't need to have 
a phone, car, lawn mower (thats if you were lucky enough 
to have a garden) drill etc....these items could all be shared. 

The extended family at least gives us some idea of what it 
could be like to break out of the nuclear unit to one where 
a small community can develop together, share problems, 
etc and be of a help to each other. A new type of relation- 
ship which transends blood relationships with all the prob- 
lems that that entails. 

Ultimately people will have to take control of their own 
housing.. ..deciding what we as a community, street and 
individuals need. Not by some bureaucrat who recieves a 
salary wether they scratch their arse all day, or because of 
their guilty conscience they replace the missing slates on 
your roof after you have spent two months attempting to 
harass them. ^^^^^^^^^ 




At present, institutions like the Housing executive give faster 
individual responses to housing problems rather than group 
or community involvement — fobbing groups off with indiv- 
idual points per house, special requirements of individuals 
etc. - it wouldn't do to have block grants for streets etc. 
where people themselves decide how they want to spend it, 
on who needs more repairs etc. - rather than those who 
have the know how to hassle and get grants etc, and those 
who don't remaining in the abject slums which will continue 
as long as the state persists on individual response. 

Another idea is Block rents, where those who have more 
should pay more than those who don't. At present, the Hous 
-ing Executive would claim that they are attempting to 
improve housing by giving grants for bathrooms etc. Again, 
to get the grant, householders have to apply individually and 
get the extentions done individually. If the state was sincere 
about people having bathrooms they would build them all 
at once in the same street, considering houses were not built 
randomly, but by the street, therefore conditions would 
apply roughly the same to each of the dwellings. The state 
has even used new technology in house building, new types 
of material, new construction prosesses have all been used in 
other sectors other than in public housing. 

When you do have a complaint, the Housing Executive 
gives you the run around between "District Offices',' "Redev- 
elopment Offices"-"Oh sorry dear, repairs section is dealing 

with that.. ..Oh, we passed that on to the contractors No, 

I'm sorry, but we can't give you their name, ask at the dist- 
rict office...." and so it goes on and on.... 

A couple of months ago, a man from Walnut street called 
George Clarke took the Housing Executive to court in an 
attempt to carry out repairs - repairs that they didn't carry 
out after numerous phone calls, solicitors letters, visits to 
area offices, two orders from the petty sessions, and finally 
a threat from the high court to imprison the Director of the 
Housing Executive if the repairs were not carried out in 6 


Obviously plying the game doesn't work. Its now nearly 
impossible to withhold rent as an individual act-a step ac- 
ross the legal line. Because of the rent and rates strike over 
internment in the early seventies' the then Stormount 
government had no problems passing the payment for debt 
act. A vicious piece of legislation which enables the Hous- 
ing Executive.and Electricity Service to obtain rent or pay- 
ment without your permission from your wages or social 
security payments. 

Recently it was discovered that when people were making 
housing applications there was a request on the form for the 
applicants national insurance number so that in the event of 
them wishing to enforce the payment of debt act they won't 
have much problem tracing employers or social security 
offices. They don't happen to say on the form that the N.I. 
question is voluntary and that they have no right to demand 

Information between different departments flows quite 
easily - information which is there for the taking. Bearing 
in mind the discovery of the SAS in a dole office by work- 
men one Sunday (see OC number 9). It isn't hard to believe 
that people are being used, abused and manipulated. 

Proposal by squatters in Hebden Bridge, York 
shire, for the long term conversion of their hillside 
terrace It 

• Workshops for printing, sign-writing, weaving and 
making clothes. 

•Two children 's houses: one each for the 
under-fives and the older children. These would 
incorporate play and sleeping space, a creche and 
education facilities. 

• A house for common activities with two bathrooms, 
a sauna, TV rooms, music room, quiet room/library^ 
and laundry. \ 
•Sixteen self-contained flats. 

• Wind generator and organic garden. 
The squatters offered to do most of the building work { 
themselves but Calderdale Council rejected the 
proposal in favour of an expensive conversion into 
standard nuclear family units. 


It is ironic that in today's economic climate political comm- 
entators compare it to the '30s and the war years when 
some of the biggest occupations and squatts took place in 
Britain. Brighton Ex-Service Mens Secret Committee worked 
at night breaking into buildings and installing homeless 
families with their belongings. In Glasgow, when rent increas- 
es were made, the women banded together, street by street, 
and refused to pay, .then they formed The Womens Housing 
Council. They spied on the movements of the baliffs and 
rent collectors, barricaded their homes, and reinstalled the 
furniture of evicted families. 

Recently in Amsterdam, the homeless have joined together 
in a mass-level, highly organised, anti-authoritarian squatters 
movement called the "Kraakers" Ten thousand people are 
now occupying some 5,000 empty buildings. Recently, at 
the Dutch Queens corination, they marched with the cry 
"No housing — No corination!' The riots lasted for five days, 
and the squatters created their own 'No go ' areas. It took 
8,000 police and army personell to protect the corination, 
and the city was transformed into an armed camp, reminesc- 
ent of the German occupation in '45. What the Kraakers 
have achieved, like the Womens Housing Council, of the '40s 
was a togetherness of people all suffering the same problem, 
all doing something about it collectively. 


Just before Christmas in Belfast, a housing enquiry took 
place involving all the local tennants associations( from Divis, 
Shankill etc. ), advice centres, and anyone else who was intre 
sted. It was the first major collective action involving people 
who are suffering as a result of the appauling housing situat- 
ion in Belfast. The grim stastics and experiences came pouri- 
ng forth, as well as how the housing executive has dealt with 
these problems in the light of the recent cutbacks. At present 
while the housing executive have 32,000 people on it's wait- 
ing lists, it's pathetic budget was reduced by approximately 
a fifth. Only repairs likely to lead to injury will be dealt with 
Leaky roofs will be dealt with after anything up to 3-4 mon- 
ths, any other complaints or repairs have a likely response 
equal to nil. Enquiries such as this will eventually produce a 
report which will undoubtedly say that the housing stock is 
too small and that repairs are not being done quickly enough 
The function of the report will be to embarass the executive 
or government into moving on this issue. Housing associatio- 
ns have seen this as being their principal function during the 
last ten years. Their successes, unfortunately, havent been 
great - why? Because they have been attempting to " get 
things done" along the same lines as Mr. Clarke, they are 
playing by a set of rules decided upon by the state. Channels 
that have to be used, channels designed to confuse and to 
put the protesting group off. 

What must be considered now are new ways to take 
control of our own housing, and at least ways to get them to 
give us what we want. 

An attempt has been made at this by the Divis Demolition 
Committee. The Divis complex was built in the sixties, and 
it suffers from acute dampness, bad ventilation, overcrowd- 
ing and unemployment. The committee carried out a survey, 

the results of which surprised even the tenants. They decided 
on a campaign to get the complex demolished, and to get 
new houses built the way they wanted. 

The way that they went about it was to systematically 
smash vacated flats. This was done with the aid of plumbers, 
electricians etc. - to turn off water supplies, take out elect- 
rical wiring, and then demolishing walls, ceilings, floors etc- 
They made it impossible for the housing executive to realloc- 
ate the flats, flats that were uninhabitable even before they 
were wrecked. The end result of the campaign was for the 
housing executive to announce plans to pull down part of 
the complex and rebuild new houses, as well as to refurbish 
the remaining flats. 


Squatting in the North reached really high proportions in the 
early 70's, when Catholics and Protestants were forced to 
move to areas where their 'own' people were in a majority. 
Since then squatting, surprisingly, has been quite prevalent 
and at the moment the Housing Executive has 4,000 proper- 
ties occupied, which is twice as many as in the Greater 
London Council Bourough. Squatting in the North has been 
illegal since 1946, but even with the law, the Executive has 
not been able to do very much about evicting families. Most 
squatts are in ghetto areas, and are not communal squatts. 
On the occasions when the Executive have tried to evict with 
the aid of the Brits, they have been met with community 
based opposition, road blockings by black taxis etc. 
Recently, the spokesperson for the Housing Executive, Brian 
Henderson stated that "Further cuts in the housing program- 
me will again encourage squattinq" 

Unfortunately, the majority of squatts are in public sector 
which doesn't really threaten the state, but the people at 
the top of the housing list. To be in the position of being at 
the top of the housing list means that you must be living in 
over crowded, squalid conditions. So in effect, squatts in 
public sector houses are denying those who need the houses 
most of all. 

Squatting, however, in the private sector can only be 
encouraged, since all those buildings, offices etc. were creat- 
ed to make profits, to exploit. 


The major lessons that have to be learnt by people that live 
in shit conditions is that by trying to achieve something by 
their rules is just not on. Individual responses etc. and reason- 
ed arguement are useless. Institutions will fuck us over at 
every oppertunity. We must work together on our own basis, 
occupying their offices en mass, carrying out direct actions 
like the Divis committee did, and supporting others in their 
actions. We must take the step beyond their basis of legality 
and do what we think is right - and take what we want and 
need, living in the way that we want, and not in the chipboa 
rd boxes that they offer us. 

/SSUE 13 MARCH 1981 

News & Views of the, 

Belfast Anarchist Collective 1 

JsOOT-nV CoM-rf^oL ... «tabe, bosses, pato^cW -Schec/ ita, 

t tWo^fes.... As A^ancWis+s oppose % € a^H^Rjfcu arS' 

cni?^o>es.... As A»>.anchia+s u>£ oppose 'fhe a^rVioRjfcu 
^fWtfcaVwn oir tfeis seatta ,awL' (advocate or>e 





A second hunger strike has begun, with 
Bobby Sands, who is serving 14 years for 
possession of a gun, refusing food on Sun- 
day, March 1st. He will be joined later by 
others including it is thought, 2 of the 
previous women hunger strikers from 

On March 2nd the 460 blanket men and 
28 women in Armagh announced the end 
of the no wash protest-so as to concentra- 
te all energies on the basic demands of no 
prison uniform, no prison work and free 

The no wash protest in Long Kesh began 
when the men were humiliated and often 
beaten on their way to the toilet and wash 
room. They refused to leave the cells and 

emptied the pots out of the window and 
under the door. But when the windows 
were boarded up and the urine swept back 
into the cells, protesters wiped their burnt- / 
an waste on the walls. 

The women in Armagh were forced on to 
a similar protest last year when their cells 
were wrecked by male screws and the 
toilets were locked up for a week. 
Now that the prisoners have abandoned 
this tactic, they will presumably face the 
same conditions of harassment which 
forced them on to it. But they say this will 
be risked in ,order to highlight the hunger 
strike for their 5 demands. 

On the outside the action groups have 
regrouped but with reduced membership 
which is explained by the confused ending 
of the previous hunger strike. Then the 
prisoners were given only a verbal promise 
a victory march was held within days of 
this before the consequences could be 

There was also the famous document 
which said very little in concrete terms 
and few people in the action groups have 
been able to get hold of a copy. 
Despite the slow start, there were about 
5,000 on the march up the Falls Road 
on the same day as Sands began his hung- 
er strike despite the cold, rainy day, the 
continued on Page 2 


The last Census to be taken in the North 
was in 1971. At that time, there were 
many protests and counter - protests by 
various groups and individuals. In April of 
this year, we will most probably see a 
repeat performance, the same people 

saying the same things here's a brief 

account of what happened during the '71 
census so that we can have an idea of what 
to expect. 

The 1 97 1 Census was the first to be comp- 
uterised, and was also the first that the 
R.U.C. were'nt involved in collecting (coll- 
ating is a different matter!). The Chief 
Regestrar for N.I, Jim Malley, certainly 
had his work cut out.. ..feelings were runn- 
ing high about the biased administration 
of justice (if it could ever be otherwise) in 
the North, the use of the viscious Special 
Powers Act, the antics of the British Army 
and their experiments with torture. 

Many people feared that the security 
forces would be able to get at the census 
continued on page 2 

What we 
pay him 

Prmce. »oy»I W 
from 270- - ' 


and what a 
bloody mess! 

Even the liberals are appalled at the events in 
El Salvador where America is supplying mil- 
itary weapons, $1 25m a year, military advis- 
ors equal to that of Vietnam (for military 
advisors read men trained in spying, assassin- 
ations, torture and counter insurgency tech- 
niques) to prop up a rutMess tin pot military 
dictatorship. All this with the usual thirty 
year old slogans of stopping the creeping 
international communism, love of democracy 
freedom, etc. 


For conservative strategists in Washington, 
the Sandinista revolution was far more 
menacing than Castro's Cuba: it was contag- 
ious. If Nicaragua could ditch its dictator 
why not Salvador, Guatamala and Honduras? 
Even Panama? What has happened in Nicar- 
agua is the natural result of several decades 
of autocratic rule over people who eventua- 
lly decided they had had about as much as 
they could take. The Americans would have 
to ensure that it wouldn't spread. 

The Carter administration, anxious to clean 
up the human rights image of Latin America 
played a major role in the politics of El 
Salvador. It was closely involved in the 
overthrow of General Carlos Humberto 
Romero, who had come to power through 
fraudelent elections two years before. 

continued page 3 

"Shock Horror" Unemployment 

Although the numbers of 'unemployed' is rapidly increasing, with 
the unofficial estimate reaching almost 20%, there seems to be 
little opposition or protest. Any militancy which the trade union 
movement may have had in its early days has been smothered by 
the bureaucratic and reformist tendencies within it. 
The most we get is a delegation to Westminster, or a statemnt for 
the media decrying the 'economic madness of monetarism' 
and claiming to be 'appalled at the unacceptable level of unempl- 
oyment'. The trade union leadership will even hold another 
demonstration in April. So whats new? 

The left's response seems limited to a 'demand' for the 'right to 
work'. This demand is no more than a plea and the right to work 
amounts to the right to be exploited. And all nationalisation 
would achieve would be a new set of exploiters. 

While we support any attempt to obstruct the ability of capitalists 
and the state to hire and fire at will, our tactics and aims must 
be more than an improvement of capitalist and state rule— whether 
of the welfare state or monetarist variety. They must be applied 
not as begging for more crumbs, but as a short term struggle in 
the overall direction of opposing the ability of our rulers to rule 
and exploit us. 


There are three main areas of activity. The first is the creation of 
co-operative work. The complexities of advanced industrial man- 
ufacturing will only arise if the workers of a firm which is about 
to close down, decide to take over and run it themselves. It is. 
unlikely that others would have the capital (!) to start such a 
venture afresh and the buying of new materials and the distribut- 
ion of goods 'on the market' are several of the problems to be 

Co-operative work doesn't necessarily imply the 'setting up' of 
a co-op, but in its general sense goes on all the time with people 
helping each other to look after children, fix the roof, repair a 
car, etc. What we are suggesting as well, is the creation of service 
or productive co-ops. Those with skills such as plumbing, could 
teach others and the 'gang' offer their services to the community 
either for free or at reduced prices. 

The problem of income can be approached by either relying on 
the dole, and exchanging needs (plumbing food etc) or by 
charging reasonable rates if you are struck off the dole or to pay 
for materials. The gang would pool the income and redistribute 
it according to size of family etc. Productive co-ops could range 
from the growing of foods to the printing of poste-s etc. 

Because so much of co-operative work is not profitable many 
people will still have to remain on the dole. This is the case for the 
majority of the unemployed anyway. Co-ops should not become 
safety valves for the state. 

The level of SS is pathetic and methods to improve it and make it 
available to all those entitled should be found. This is not a ref- 
ormist demand, if we realise that the state has no 'right' to decide 
what we get. 

That right is based on power, and the ownership of the resources 
of wealth by capitalists and the state are what we must ultimately 

There is always in the meantime though. So long as we are aware 
of the source of poverty and hierarchy and so long as our methods 
include an attack on those sources we can avoid being bought off 
and contained. The demand for higher SS rates must be coupled 
with such an attack. 

It is important that any unemployed action groups do not link up 
with the trade union bureaucracy. Contact and solidarity with 
local workers can only help, but the officials are only interested 
in channelling and using you to maintain then* own influence. 

Equally, petitions delegations etc,have not only proved to be 
useless but are in themselves limited to asking. The occupation 
of dole , housing and electricity offices will bring a quicker result 
than a 'please sir....' It may also bring the RUC quicker, but a plea 
brings nothing! 


One of the surest ways of overcoming inflation is to reduce prices, 
and one of the surest ways of getting something cheap is to steal 
it. Now don't think that we are suggesting that, but if you insist 
on risking a fine, the safest way is to do it in numbers. 

In Italy its called expropriation or price reduction. There, crowds 
went into the supermarkets and either, walked out with their 
shopping bags full, or queued up and refused to let other custom- 
ers at the till until the 'inflated' price was brought down to a 
reasonable level. Rock concerts, cinema and buses are other 
obvious targets. 

If say lOp is an agreeable 'unemployed ' flat rate for public trans- 
port, and about 20 people boarded Huebeck's bus refusing to 
pay more the most that could happen is they be asked to leave. 
With the bus being delayed while the driver (who should be 
challenged about his attitudes) got the RUC or the Whizzkid 
himself (Huebeck personally removed 20 suspects from a Citybus 
today....) the tactic might catch on and become unprofitable. 

continued from page 1 

seasoned and not easily put down. 

While there is determination and a general 
agreement that this campaign will be diff- 
erent there are few signs yet of what that 
implies. Obviously peaceful mass demon- 
strations were not enough but the only 
alternatives seem to be rioting or political 

For the former to succeed there would 
have to be more coordination than before 
in order to stretch the RUC. The political 
action planned seems limited to the 

ions. Thus a call to make the North ungov- 
ernable at a mass delegate meeting in 
Dublin has been reduced by the National 
H Block Committee to forcing SDLP 


For the hunger strike campaign to succeed 
against such a determined government 
its main chances would seem to lie with 
the broadening in scope of its objectives 
The threat of unemployed people eg: 
beginning to emulate the courage and 
tenacity of the hunger strikers and the 
protesters outside, would not only force 
the government to make a move but might 
create the spirit and example of generalis- 
ed protest against the conditions of expl- 
oitation, authority and sectarianism which 
produce such hell-holes as Long Kesh and 

Con census cont. page 1 
material Dy means ot tne Special Powers 
Act, the government denying that if they 
could, they would— at that time, their 
own intelligence systems were well under 
development, even so, the information 
from the census would have been useful 
base material. 

Mass burnings of forms took place in 
Andersonstown, Ballymurphy, Ardoyne, 
the Markets, Springfield Road, amoungst 
other areas. Reaction came from various 
quarters.... Paisley and his supporters 
pledged that they wouldn't fill in their 
census forms until all boycotters were pro- 
scecuted (presumably, as soon as Paisley 
was proscecuted, he'd be happy!) —The 
Presbyterian Synod, disliking Paisley's out- 
landish antics took their usual 'upholders 
of the constitution' position, and stated 
thet those who didn't fill in their census 
forms were failing in their 'civic responsib- 
ility'.... surely it is in the intrests of all to 
fill in forms detaining our supposedly priv- 
ate lives and passing them on to a higher 

About 80 Priests boycotted the census (As 
calculating in their oppertunism as ever), 
over the 'unjust operation of law in the 
North'.!.. A Presbyterian minister was 
prompted to suggest that the loyalty of 
these Priests was called into question by 
their antics! This particular action, which 
appears to have been the largest of the pro- 
tests over the census, particulary 'puzzled' 
Mr. Malley, who said that the Bishop of 

Down and Connor (whose Diocese these 
Priests were mostly in ) had been "extrem- 
ely cooperative" in publicising the census 
and had agreed to appear in promotional 
material (ie. Front page photos of Philbin 
filling in a Census form), it appears that 
Philbin is now conducting his own c 

The media, as usual, were very helpful in 
the collecting of the census, quoting every 
word that fell from Malleys reassuring gol- 
den lips....all the questions are really nec- 
essary ...none of the questions are offensive 
and go no further than friends would in 
superficial conversation (By the way, mate 
are you a prod or a taig?). After the boyc- 
ottings and burnings, Mr. Malley made a 
heart rendering appeal to those responsible 
citizens who had been misguided/coerced/ 
intimidated into refusing the census, 
saying that anyone who wanted a form 
should come and collect, or ask for a new 
one. ...No questions asked (strictly confid- 
ential?). The media's line was one of "sure- 
ly it would be in the intrests of all who 
accuse the state of discrimination to fill in 
the forms, as these are used in deciding 
which areas need what amenities!' What a 
joke. One point which was validly made 
was that few of the protests were over the 
actual basis of the census... either it was a 
British census, or the census was being 
used to highlight other issues - not the 
fact that it is a state census, for their 

Contd. from page 1 

The new Government which consisted of 
progressive army officers and civilian polit- 
icians (including socialists and communists) 
promised to end the violence and corruption 
The armed forces pledged that 'Order' would 
be dissolved and any other groups which 
violated human rights would be opposed; 
political parties of all complexions would be 
allowed to operate; an amnesty was declared 
for political prisoners (those that survived 
the massacre precipitated by the coup) 
and those in exile; free elections were to be 
held within a reasonable period. 
Most political parties enthusiastically supp- 
orted the new Junta's plan for agrarian and 
fiscal reforms in the interim period until 
elections could be held. Their enthusiasm 
was short lived. Three months later with 
the violence unchecked and all attempts 
at reform blocked by the economic elite 
(dubbed the 'fourteen families') and their 
allies within the military, the civilians in the 
Junta resigned. 

When innocent people are being murdered 
by the State and various paramilitary groups 
acting on its behalf, at the rate of 1 2,000 
a year, naturally the people will want to 
defend themselves, and are forced to take 
aid by whoever can give it whether it be 
from Cuba, Russia or Nicaragua. And when 
Haig, American Secretary of State, produces 
his 'thick documenf/on evidence of getting 
arms from these countries he is only trying 
to justify the intervention and supply of 
arms to the junta which caused the problem 

In El Salvador the violence has reached 
quite a manic level of cool discriminate 
terror, 12,000 killed last year and the rec- 
ently uncovered 300 people massacre.. ..the 
entire leadership of the 'legitimate' opposit- 
ion kidnapped at a public meeting and 
murdered: four American nuns raped and 
then shot because of their work with the 
landless peasants, two American lawyers 
gunned down in the Sheraton Inn in San 
Salvador because they were associated with 
the movement for land reform. And all 
within a year of the assassination of Arch- 
bishop Romero, In short, the government 
of El Salvador is a military junta with a 
civilian president and a few civilian ministe- 
rs, it used to have a lot more until a year 
ago when most of them through their lot 
in with the revolutionary left on the ground 
that the military were out of control. 
Even the Church is not immune from 
general repression and are forced to speak 
out against it which makes them a legitim- 
ate target for the junta. 
In the next few weeks to counter the sym- 
pathetic reports of journalists against the 
Duarte regime so far, we will see the exten- 
sive black propaganda machine of the 
United States of America going into full 
production with all its dirty tricks and lies. 

After the recent Reagan meeting, Thatcher 
is already supporting America in their prop- 
osed blockade of communist arms to El 

What they are really saying is for the Americ- 
an armed junta to have free reign in disposi- 
ng of an unarmed population who resist the 

We only hope that America can be forced to 
withdraw their economic and military aid 
now before they send in the B52s and make 
another Vietnam for themselves. 

own with 
ore radar 

N.A.T.O. is a so-called war alliance 
between the military machines of 
Europe and America and is very 
much controlled by the American 
military industrialists who are pre- 
pared to finance so much of the 
weapons used throughout the so- 
called 'free world'. American busi- 
ness interests are at heart, though 
their weird notions of making the 
'world free' is what they tell us. 

American militarists are stock-piling 
weapons all over, and particularly in 
Europe... where all the governments from 
Greece to Britain are only too willing to 
accept the American war-machine. And 
throw in billions of pounds, drachmas, 
or whatever to add their own defences. 
As outlined in. the last Outta Control, 
Britain is rapidly extending and develop- 
ing an efficient radio and radar commun- 
ications system as an essential back-up 
for war preparations. Latest at this time 
of austerity measures is the financin g of 
a new micro-wave radio-station at St. 

John's Point, in S.E.Down . ...6 miles from 
Downpatrick, and a mere 12 miles from 
the big radar communications centre at 
Bishopscourt in Co.Down. Planning per- 
mission has already been granted for the 
station and a 70-foot radar mast near the 
lighthouse.. ..ironically on the same site 
that the electricity service wanted for 
a nuclear power station in the early and 
mid-70's. The planning permission is for 
a single story building though how much 
will be underground and what the cost 
will be to the Telecommunications ind- 
ustry is not for us to know. (We merely 
pay for it in the long run). 
There is some 'speculation' locally as to 
its use, with Telecom saying as little as 
possible. The new station is in direct line 
of sight with Bishopscourt, and well 
within the 35 miles necessary for it to be 
effective. Hence it will link up with the 
British micro-wave system—via the Isle 
of Man— and so become another intrical 
part of the British- American nuclear 
attack system, and further evidence of the 
importance of Ireland in the jingoist minds 
of the military. That it will also improve 
the color-T.V. reception in this part of 
remote Down is NOT really what the 
British government is up to, no matter 
what they say!! 


Everyone has heard of the attempted 
coup in Spain last week when Lt.Col. 
Tejero of the Civil Guard, led his troops 
into the parliament buildings. 

But few people are aware of a trial in 
France, less than a month ago, when 
some anarchists faced charges which were 
first brought against them in '74, during 
the Franco Fascist regime. 
They had been accused of complicity in 
the kidnapping of Spanish banker, 
Suarez, to demand the release of political 
prisoners. 'Evidence' was collected by 
co-operation between the fascist Spanish 
police and the police of those well 
known social democratic countries- Fran- 
ce and England. 

Although the coup failed, and the anarch- 
ists were finally freed, it would be wrong 
to assume that Spain is now a 'new' socie- 
ty. There is no doubt that it is nearer 
a social democracy than fascism (in pol- 
itical terms) but the recent events beg 
the question-how great is the difference? 

The armed forces, judiciary and adminis- 
tration of fascist Spain have remained 
relatively undisturbed in the passage to 
'democracy'. Only certain sectors have 
been disgruntled. The Guardia Civil are 
the equivalent of our UDR and have the 
same reputation. They fit uncomfortably 
into the 'social democratic' image of only 
using the police to deal with opposition 
but that image is gradually changing. 

Also over 100 police resigned when fellou 
officers were charged with the murder, 
after torture of a Basque. It seems as if 
the political parties have successfully 
managed the transfer of political power, 
but the whole apparatus in use was creat- 
ed under fascism and generally speaking 
does the job well-with just a few hiccups 


During the turbulent period of 1919 a cabinet minister Mr 
Boner Law said 'There was no doubt that many people attrib- 
ute the present industrial unrest to the lack and poor quality 
of beer' 

The cabinet agreed to authorise an increase in production and 
in strength while reducing its price. So much for 1919. 

Today in ghetto areas we have hundreds of drinking places, 
state controlled leisure centres, community centres, the slot 
machine joints and all the other counter insurgent techniques 
and plans designed to keep us quiet (not to mention TV) 

Social clubs at best give the people entertainment in the form 
of bingo nights, pop music etc. 

Even socialist groups who have control of 'social' clubs simply 
reflect any capitalist owned pub (who are out just to make 
money) apart from a few slogans. There is little or no attempt 
to develop any resistance or alternative culture in opposition 
to 'establishment' type culture designed to reinforce the 
position and values of our oppressors. There are centres, 
although sadly not in Belfast. Their emphasis is not on drink 
but on political education. They show socialist films, put on 
political plays, have experimental music sessions, lectures 
debates, exhibitions, alternative comics who don't resort to the 
usual sexist, racist jokes. They are not interested in people 
slowly getting stoned but rather in getting people high on ideas. 

We live in an exploitative and auth- 
oritarian society. It is exploitative 
because the primary aim of those 
who own (capitalists) or control 
(managers) the means of production 
distribution, and exchange (of food 
housing, clothing, technology, 
money, leisure etc.) are motivated 
by profit, and not need. They are 
'in business' to maintain and 
increase the wealth and power 
which they possess-not to ensure 
that the resources are available to 
satisfy people's needs. 

It is also an authoritarian society because the 
social and political life is administered by the 
STATE. The state is not a natural phenomena, 
but one whereby the wealth and power of the 
ruling class are protected by laws, courts, police 
prison etc. Increasingly today the state is widen- 
ing its sphere of influence and power. It has 
taken over many of the enterprises which are 
central to the running of society, but which 
were no longer profitable for capitalism- the 
post office, public transport...also because 
power by its very nature, encourages those who 
have it to gain more, the state is no longer just 
a protector and administrator for capitalism, it 
also has interests of its own and has, for example 

more public group of politicians. The fact that 
you put piece of paper marked X into a ballot 
box every 4 years is called 'democracy'. All we 
are doing is changing the face of the ruling class 
without changinE the situation whereby we 
are always ruled, always told what to do. 

There are two types of crime. The first is the 
state's definition for those who break its rules, 
and ours, whereby the state and capitalism 
themselves are crimes against humanity. They 
exploit and enforce obedience in order to keep 
themselves in power. 

Because the state and capitalism control the 
means of communication (newspapers, TV., 
film, books theatre, etc) it is not too difficult 
for them to form public opinion. So the state's 
ideas of what crime is is usually what society 

The laws are made by the politicians (with the 

of the ruling class) and they have the means TV 
etc to persuade us that they are in the 'national 
interest'. It should be obvious though that the 
laws are made in the interests of the ruling 
class-in fact by them. 

These laws are enforced by thepoliceand the 
judiciary and punishment ranges from fines 
to imprisonment (or the threat of it if you 
don't behave). These are agencies of the state 
which we have seen is a power bloc in itself. It 
can hardly be seen as independent. 

Crimes can be divided into two-firstly those 
which threaten the interests of the ruling class 
such as bank robberies, illegal strikes, destructi- 
on of state property or commercial property 
etc. The fact that capitalism steals the surplus 
wealth which workers create, enormous office 
blocks are built at the expense of public housing 
is of course not criminal. These crimes against 
wealth and authority are harshly dealth with 
by the courts. 

The other type of 'crime' is anti-social behavioiu 
It is important that the state at least pretends 
to deal with this probkm-firstly, because it is 
a democracy after all! and must be seen to 
protect its citizens, and secondly, if this behav- 
iour were not dealth with it might interfere 
with the smooth runing of making money and 
maintaining power. Again it is no coincidence 
that the anti-social behaviour of capitalism 
and authority is not dealt with by law. 

As for the taking back of wealth stolen from us 











and the destruction of business or state propertj 
we see no crime. But the problem of anti-social 
behaviour has to be dealt with. Not only is the 
state's handling of this area counter productive 
but it ignores and condemns whole aspects of 

In fact it creates the conditions of much of ' 
today's anti-social behaviour. People have little 
control over their lives and are alienated from 
it. The work we perform is not for ourselves 
or our community, but to sell on the market 
for profit for the bosses. The decisions as to 
what type of housing, information, transport 
etc we want is taken by bureaucracy. Our own 
role is reduced to asking for favours and perm- 
ission from these bureaucrats. 
Our relationships with each other are condition- 
ed by our relationships to the sources of power 
and wealth. The fact that our lives are ones of 
obedience to other powers, affects our social 
and personal lives. People, whose self respect 
and creativity has been stolen or squashed by 
authority, will find it difficult to respect others 
and form creative relationships. Our anger 
against authority can be redirected against those 
who are in immediate contact-relatives, lovers, 
neighbours etc. So in this sense the existence of 
the state and capitalism CREATES crime. 
If we were to destroy these structures much of 
the origins of anti social behaviour would be 
removed. But because our culture has had 
thousands of years of authoritarian and exploit- 
ative relationships and because since birth we 
are conditioned to accept these, the structures 
are not just external. We reproduce many of 
these traits in our own behaviour. This problem 
will be dealt with later. 

The judiciary and police exist both to intimid- 
ate most of the population into disobedience 
and to deal with the small numbers who ignore 
its laws. There is of course a vast number of 
capitalists and managers who ignore the laws 
on tax, land, equality etc, who are not prosecu* 
ted. We will not deal with these here as it is . 
not the excesses of capitalism and authority 
which must be abolished but they themselves. 

However, on another occasion we should pay 
them more attention. 

Prisons are the ultimate punishment for those 
whose crimes are serious or who persist ie: 
those who attack the values of authority and 
capital, and those whose repeated anti-social 
behaviour is embarrasing for the government. 
For the first number of people it is obvious 
that prison is the weapon which the ruling 
class use to punish those who challenge it. 
As such prison or 'crime' should not exist 
because capitalism and the state should not 
exist. By destroying these, we will automat- 
ically destroy the reason for imprisoning the* 

The second group of people we have called 
anti social This is because their behaviour is 
against people who are not one of their sour- 
ces, or don't benefit from the authoritarian 
society. Examples are stealing from working 
class homes or violence against those who 
become the scapegoat for your own frustrat- 
ions and alienation such as male violence 
against women, gang violence^arents beating 

The state claims in its laws and propaganda that 
prison is there to deter and rehabilitate these 
people. Anyone who has been inside or who has 
friends inside or who cares to do a little research 
will know that prison does neither. 

It doesn't deter those who have already made 
the first move to defy authority and especially 
in the present recession with unemployment 
soaring and cuts in welfare benefits, people's 
frustrations are deepening. That violent expressi- 
on of frustration and alienation is the product of 
, life conditioning a more powerful force than the 
external threat of imprisonment. 

Prison doesn't rehabilitate either. Because prim- 
arily it doesn't even try. Education and training 
facilities inside are so meagre as to discourage 
anyone trying. Even if facilities were to be impr- 
oved they wouldn't begin to effect the reasons 
for anti socail behaviour. In fact prison is a 
symptom of the society which creates such 
behaviour in the first place. The only effect reh- 
d on page 5 

abilitation could have is to produce an individual 
who accepted his/her alienation and powerless- 
ness to produce a good citizen. 

The only conclusion we can reach for the long 
term is a social revolution. We must destroy the 
state, patriarchy (male power) and capitalism, 
and replace it with a libertarian society, where 
individuals groups, communities control their 
own lives (work, social sexual) and federate on 
a voluntaiy basis with other groups to improve 
the quality of life. By such a revolution many 
of the conditions which produce inequality alien- 
ation and authority will be removed. 
But as well as working towards some future 
event or series of events we must begin now. We 
must start to create libertarian relationships in 
social and personal life now. The centuries of 
conditioning leave their residue of competitive- 
ness and domination in all of our personalities, 
not only in present authoritarian society, but 
even were a social revolution to be successful. 
It is particulary difficult to create alternatives 
to prison in this society. Some attempts have 
been made in England (RAP) where they offer 
facilities for those coming out of prison to regair 
their self respect, but we should be wary of such 
efforts being recuperated by the state to put a 
humane face on its prisons policies. Our aim 
(and I am sure RAP is aware of this) is not to 
become a welfare agency but to oppose and 
campaign for the abolition of prisons. 

In future society the problems of anti social 
behaviour may still exist. Violence against other 
people destruction of their labour and undermin- 
ing of their cooperation may occur. How these 
will be handled will depend on the circumstances 
of both the event and the general society. 
If resources are stretched and little energy free, 
banishment from the community or retribution 
in the form of helping in the work of the victim 
are two possibilities depending on the severity 
and repetition of such behaviour. 

But probably more important is the question of 
who decides. One prospect is the gathering of 
all the people concerned and their friends (social, 
work etc) and the arbitration of the dispute 
by someone who both people accept and trust. 
The primary aim of such a meeting would be for 
the two to immediately involved to reach an 
agreement after explanation and debate. But in 
the event of no solution the arbitrator would 
have to make a decision which would be binding 
insofar as both people accepted the arbitrator. 
These of course are only tentative solutions and 
cannot replace the importance of a change in 
attitudes and relationships as being the best hope 
for undermining anti social behaviour. 


In the constant work towards 

revolution, particular repressive institutions 

given priority for both exposure of conditions 
and resistance to their development. One institut- 
ion is of course prison. Up to now the campaign 
against excesses -such as isolation 'criminalisati- 
on' The problem with these is that they don't 
get to the root of the problem and they can be 
recuperated. In fact, if won, may even improve 
the image of prisons. So in our propaganda and 
political work we should attack in ways which 
cannot be turned against our eventual aim. While 
we may be involved in certain reformist activitiej 
such as providing books, campaigning for politic 
al status, etc thought should be given to tactics 
which don't make specific demands but hit 
home at the nature of prisons. 


TIME Feb 1981 
PLACE Lower Ormeau (could be any redev- 
elopment area 

OCCASION Housing meeting 
CAST Housing Executive, SO LP and Alliance 
councillors, catholic priest, local housing 
association, chairperson, architect and builder 
Department of the Environment , 60 local 

On entering a large room in the Church of 
the Word of God (honest) we were confront- 
ed by three slide screens and (Signatories from 
public life. Although this was supposed to be 
an AGM of the local Housing Association to 
discuss the years developments and reflect 
a committee it was soon evident that this 
was a public relations job. The chairperson 
had presumably invited the big wigs to answ- 
er questions and the audience were caught 
unawares. (Does this circus travel to other 
areas as well). 

Cooke, from Alliance, gave a short political 
party broadcast and was applauded (do some 
people also clap a ppixon tv?) McDonnell 
from SDLP didn't stay long enough to get 
his speech in (so he must be confident 
enough of reselection in the City Council in 
May) the builders firm Taggarts, sent along 
two smooth talkers. Savage and Whiteside 
(who if Taggarts were a political party would 
surely make it to the Europarliament) the 
DOE representative Devlin was a bit uncerta 
in thought. Although his office (the area 
office) was one of liaison between the DOE 
and the public he had no knowledge of the 
main departments such as water, roads, lights 
and neither had he the more important 
attribute of pretending to know. 
These performers were compered by the 
Master of Ceremonies our very own chair- 
person, who invited questions, problems and 
points of view. Damp, condensation, low 
water pressure etc. were all dealt with 
individually, and if the resident proved unsati- 
sfied and persistent there was a personal ass- 
urance that the builder/architect would 
personally come round and see the house in 
person-Would you take that person's name 
down Mr Chairman and remind me to pay 
them a visit next week' An older man at the 
back who suggested the redeveloped houses 
in Essex Street were better off before and 
would be better off now demolished didn't 
get a reply but an embarrased silence. 

The Housing Executive had two speakers 
(plus at least three other backers). The first 
Bass, tried his best to wriggle out of comp- 
laints about incompetence but wasn't self 
confident (slippery) enough to carry it off. 
But the biscuit must go to Williamson the 
manager of the local area office in Ann St. 
He didn't even try to play the game and 
brushed objections and problems aside by 
implying we were lucky to have houses at all. | 

To a slight degree the builders and councill- 
ors are conscious of public reaction; the latt- 
er increasingly because of the May elections 
the former are operating an open market 
(open to corruption) and subject to comp- 
etition from other firms for contracts so they 
must at least respond to the dissatisfied ten- 
ant. But the Housing Executive have a mono- 
poly over public housing and judging by 
Williamson don't give a shit about such a 
puny derelict area as the Lower Ormeau. The 
HE are an underfinanced and over bureaucr- 
atic wing of the state and get stick day in and 
day out. They, of course don't confront the 
problems but employ a vast workforce who 
delect, discourage and placate frustrated ten- 
ant. Poor Williamson must be fed up; and 
after all is only human- I wonder does he 

Newberry-no, not a poisonous fruit-is the 
local Catholic priest who controls the state 
financed community facilities (youth club 
nursery etc) and is leading contender for 
boss of the proposed new community centre 
He appeared half way through the meeting 
and was called by the chairperson to share 
the small platform with him-which he did 
beaming; and embarrasingly laughed at a 
satirical joke on one of the builders because 
everyone else laughed. He said nothing but 
took it all in and helped reinforce people's 
alienation from their OWN meeting and the 
chance to discuss THEMSELVES what to do 
with the area. 

On several occasions I nearly spoke-l nearly 
shouted- 1 nearly attacked Cooke et al. But 
what I did was leave half way through. The 
meeting was too vague to come to terms 
with. What was the point of talking to arrogr 
ant slime like the councillors, builders, HE? 
j It was the residents I wanted to talk to, to 
isay-if we want to discuss our own business 
and our tactics than we don't invite this 
lot (they don't invite us to their planning 
meetings) We should be collectively deciding 
whats wrong with the area, who caused it 
what needs to be done, and how we can do 
it. We don't need the ritual of voting in a 
committee who would be impotent in the 
'dialogue' with professional talkers from the 
HE. We ALL have the responsibility to make 
the changes we want in the area, and should 
n't delegate that responsibility to a committ- 
ee who always accept the rules of the HE : 
and who anyway especially that night beca^ 
me a show piece so the HE can say we will 
always consult you. 

But I said nothing. I left and realised prob- 
ably why only 60 out of a couple of thousa^ 
nd bothered to turn up. The whole range 
of counter insurgents were there (priests 
councillors, community workers and HE 
hacks) and I didn't want to advertise myself 
I as a subversive because I do want to subvert 
to resist their plans for control over us. 



































The occupation of the Euroweld engineering plant 
still continues after six weeks and despite the fact that 
the security guards were able to lock the workers out 
one night when no one was actually occupying (oops)! 


So far the occupation has received no official union backing 
and the workers have never even received on single visit from 
any trade union official. 

Before the firm went bust, the officials were brought up to 
negotiate about future lay offs and at every stage sided with 
the managements recommendations which the workers resisted. 
All this is not surprising when you consider the bureaucrats in 
charge of the unions. Periodically they are wheeled in front of 
television, Carlin, Hull and company and condemn the latest 
unemployment figures and closures but they are the last to 
support any action against unemployment. In the Euroweld 
occupation they have deliberately misled other trade unionists 
as they see any stand against unemployment as undermining 
their bankrupt ideas and passive position and threatening 
their cushy jobs. 

It is not surprising however that these appointed bureaucrats 
get away with it when you look at the trade union membership 
as a whole. Most people who belong to a trade union do so 
only because they need a card to hold a job. They are apathetic 
to any trade union involvement and leave the running of it to 
a small clique. Times are changing and people will have to 
consider the consequences of their inactivity and reliance on 
leaders, the consequence of which is a complete demoralisation 
against fighting unemployment. 

Workers should consider the various ways so that they can 
directly fight unemployment. Especially the thousands of work- 
ers that surround the Euroweld plant, for it is they who can 
give the most immediate support to the Euroweld occupation. 
So far it has been only individuals. 


The technicians and staff of Euroweld have foolishly taken the 
firms side even when they have been exploited and are without 
jobs as any manual worker. They have deserted the 140 work- 
ers who have chosen to occupy. 

The Euroweld workers are highly trained and would have no 
difficulty in finding a job elsewhere (except maybe for the 
shop stewards who would be victimised). Their product 
(producing tanks for containment of substances such as gases 
etc) is made nowhere else in Britain and they see their task as 
keeping their skills within Northern Ireland whereas closure 
would probably mean the loss of these skills . 


At present they are formulating a plan to collectively put 
their redundancy money together and buy the plant themsel- 
ves and turn it into a workers co-operative. They believe they 
have enough orders to make the company viable. (Although 
no doubt living in a capitalist society hostile to any form of 
workers self management would have problems). So far the 
receiver has given them no assistance although he has given 
information to other potential buyers. 
If setting up a co-op is a last ditch attempt through not finding 
a buyer, as a means of just holding onto jobs, then it will 
probably adopt the same roles and structure that existed under 
their previous employer. To see a co-op as not only an 
alternative to the capitalist system but a challenge to it, and 
not just economically, is by far the most visionary. The 
workers are bound not simply through working for the same 
'firm' but by the idea of creating a better, freer society for 
themselves and others. 

They work collectively taking decisions together producing 
or selling a product which is socially useful,relating and 
sharing skills. This shared work experience without the need 
for leaders can contribute to the confidence of the individual 
and the group. Sex roles and sexism are broken down. Wages 
are based on what a person needs and gives what they can. 
Surplus money gained is not seen as the co-ops private funds. 
The workers have a responsibility to use the surplus in a 
productive way for the benefit of the community and not 
themselves personally. 

There will obviously be limitations that the militant co-ops 
will suffer from. They are surrounded by capitalist enterprises 
who constantly service them. If the co-ops pose any teal 
threat it would be very easy to isolate and destroy it. 


It is unlikely that the Thatcher government will step in and 
pay off the creditors and provide money to restart the firm. 
They are more prepared to give money to tried and tested 
•capitalists like De Lorean or O'Neill the original owner of 
Euroweld. He was given the grants to pay for the machinery 
and the new extension, (even at the opening of the new 
extension they knew the firm was sliding into trouble) and 
at one time most of the workforce were receiving wage 
subsidies from the state. 


If the workers do manage to form a co-op out of Euroweld 

hopefully they could do it with as few strings attached to the 

state as possible, the state were largely responsible for the 

legal rip off and results in the first place. 

Any state interference in the running of the factory would 

only mean exchanging one set of incompetent bosses for 



Right now the Euroweld workers are looking for support, 
financial or otherwise in order to continue their struggle. 

^35 -ew"Z' 

yesterday^ * d at « a.m. 0 

B< A DAM Butler, £j 

industry Master, h 

turned doW» Joh n De 

proposal * r ° m s ^ge S ted the 
Lorean, who sugge debt 

Government 6 rovatt ies 
re P ay Slf aid to the sports 

four years. 



Over the past few weeks, there has been a 
fresh outbreak of "mass lawlessness" in 
Zurich, following the events of last year, 
as outlined in this article (translated from 
the French magazine, Agora), which rock- 
ed the previously 'calm boat' of the Swiss 

The Zurich youth have been waiting for 
10 years for the finance from the Author- 
ities, necessary in order to open the "Rote 
Fabrik" (Red Factory), an autonomous 
culture and leisure centre. In 1977, the 
people of the city voted in favour of the 
project but in May 1980, no changes had 
been made to make available the building. 

On the 30th. May last, tired of waiting 
for the 8 million Swiss francs necessary 
for the renovation of the "Opera" (the 
bourgeois culture certainly rushes things!) 
credits finally voted for on the 8th. of 
June - tired therefore of being fucked abo- 
ut/ ignored, hundreds of youth assembled 
in front of the Opera on the occasion of a 
premiere, facing an extremely hardened 
police. The next day, a second demonstra- 
tion was charged by the police: broken 
windows, doors beaten down, fires started, 
new arrests and even more injured! 

These two days were the "spark to light 
the fire" (bulletin of birth) of a movement 
which has kept in operation ever since. On 
the 4th. June, there was a general meeting 
where film was shown of the police brutal- 
ities, a film which was banned the next 

day by the public education chief.....the 
two students who made the film were 
hounded, which provided the extention of 
the movement into the schools and univers- 
ities. On the 9th. June, the film was shown 
at the university in front of 2-3,000 studen- 
ts. The demonstration in the town is brok- 
en up and ends with further confrontations 
with the police. 

Two days later, a massive demonstration of 
4,000 people is held; the police, present 
with all their anti- riot paraphenalia, interv- 
ene—Finally, on the 28th. June, the coun- 
cil gives in, "the young people shall have 
their centre", but the Socialist Party, which 
acted as mediator will be the principal age- 
nt in the building and, in fact, would cont- 
rol everything! 

On the 2nd. July, the city opens the "auto- 
nomous" centre, but during the night of 
12-13 July, 6,000 people go onto the stree- 
ts. There, the movement goes further than 
the theme of an autonomous centre. Having 
taken "No power for anyone" as a slogan, 
the demonstrators pass in front of the 
city hall, shouting "Make cucumber salad 
of the state T' Attacked by the police, the 
demonstrators'take a different direction: a 
veritable night of barricades. 

After a brief summers break, the moveme- 
nt starts up again and expands. At first, a 
demonstration in Berne demands the creat- 
ion of an autonomous centre there. In Zur- 
ich, on August 30th, 1,000 demonstrators 

have to suffer as the police charge yet again 
A second night of barricades occurs yet 
again on the night of 6-7th. September. 
But taking the pretext of the continuance 
of the troubles as a pretext, the council 
decides, not to dismantle the existing riot 
squads, but to close the "autonomous" 
centre. On the 10th. Sept, this provocation 
brings about a further night of barricades. 
Two days later, the pigs, once again, spread 
disorder in the centre of Zurich.... 

At first being relatively isolated, this move- 
ment grows from demonstration to demon- 
stration. It was capable of furnishing itself 
with structures open for all to express the- 
mselves in, but also with an infrastructure 
which was put to the test during these past 
months, like the general meetings, or even 
the pirate radios, particulary useful at the 
time of the confrontations in order to inf- 
orm on the police manouvers. Up until . 
now, these young protesters have continue 
ed to ridicule the authorities. Thus, on 2nd 
July, two councillors who made the mista- 
ke of accepting a television debate against 
two of the protesters, had to face two 
young people who kept mocking and axing 
their interventions on the theme "we must 
shoot all young people".. 

Let us point out in our conclusion that the 
Zurich Anarchist movement plays an active 
role in this struggle with a libertarian char- 
acter, and also that some comrades have a 
fair few problems as a result ( fines, court 
cases etc....). 


The I NLA are held responsible for the 
continuing existence of left opportunist 
MP Anthony Wegdewood Benn. Accord- 
ing to the New Statesman Airey Neave 
had planned in 1979 with ex MI5 agents 
Benn's assassination if a left Labour Party 
came to power. The choice between 
Benn and Neave must be difficult! 
Tar a Mines are one of the two remaining 
mining companies in Donegal, successfully 
to get a renewal of their licence to mine 
for uranium from the Department of 
Industry, Commerce and Tourism. This 
was despite the local opposition, including 
a resolution against such a renewal by the 
County Council. 

Dear Friends, 

The squat here is rapidly coming together, 
we had to completely renew the electrics 
and are now pointing and putting in the 
windows. It used to belong to Hans Pre/ 1, 
but now by a big builder, who is determin- 
ed to get us out. He a/ready got in once 
but the place was re-possessed, his Merced- 
es wrecked and his ladder thrown in the 
canal, there are plenty of squats here and 
they are quite well organised, though we 
have had recently two defeats-the Grote 
Wetering, 5 houses together, which were 
taken with the help of 2000 riot police 
tanks, dogs, horses, the lot. Greatly enjoy- 
ed the subsequent riot and the As organ- 
ised some good direct actions round the 
fringes. Its quite different here-all about 
propaganda and play battles, though with 
the recession the state is moving quickly to 
the right. mike 


Sermon on the mount 

So what's new-that's history 

Flash in the dark-reported mystery 

The great man booms a new account- 

Hellfire, arms and a dammed nation 

Statements sweeping, jailing and some gnashing 


To be certified or 'armless- false or otherwise? 

Sermon on the mount 

The price of peace or war 

Five hundred heads on discount 

As one body trained by whistle 

Licenced dogs of war unleash a legalised epistle 

In waves hearts flutter Paisley patterns 

White papers flap on windy words 

And other summit talks 



Dear Friends, 

Many thanks for the Outta Controls you 
send me. Shit, the situation is real terrible 
in the prisons. It was covered quite well 
in Danish newspapers, but not in the way 
which can help the H Block prisoners. I 
hope that other european countries can 
put pressure on England to change its 
repression in Northern Ireland. 

On the action side we are concentrating on 
the French nuclear tests, the repression of 
French polynesW and the development 
of the nuclear Free Pacific (on Ference). 



Dear Sir, 

I am a fifteen year old who has realised 
how it is not worth the bother of studying 
for O levels as I will reduce myself to a 
mindless run of the mill citizen. I don't 
want a job in which I'll feel like a caged 
animal "I wanna be me" (Sex Pistols 
song as if you didn't know). So, while 
listening to some Crass record I spotted 
this address and here lam. DAVID 


April 5th. is census day, and by then every house in N.I., 
Scotland, England, and Wales will be issued with census 
forms. Information sought includes details of our home, 
our work, our relationships, our education, our transport 
methods, and how these have all changed over the years. 

Responsibility for the census collection and the informat- 
ion is supposedly held by the Registrar General, of the 
Dept. of Finance. However, he is directly responsible to the 
Secetary of State, H.Atkins. The 'collated' results will be 
computerised, and stored at the Computer Services 
Division of the Civil Service at Stormont. The results are 
reported as being for the use of central and local govt, 
social researchers, the health and education services, 
market researchers and industrialists, though there is 
supposedly a 'confidentiality clause' whereby no individual 
can be identified either by direct access to the computer 
data, or by cross-referencing by outsiders. However, as we 
shall see, all this is rather dubious, a mere ploy to get us to 
fill in the form in the first place. 

The first British census was taken in 1801, and the first 
year of every decade since. The purpose of the 1801 census 
was to enable the government of the day to assess their 
potential military strength, to evaluate the cannon-fodder 
readily available at a time when European govts., were 
lining up for or against Napoleon. (Since 1801, most 
Western industrialised states have some form of census, 
now officially sanctioned by the United Nations.) 

Nowadays, the interests of social welfare and civic respon- 
sibility are stressed with the military and internal security 
uses played down. 

The previous census in 1971 was the first to be computer- 
ised and was based on ordnance survey 1 mile squares. In 
1981, however, with the rapid growth of computer technol- 
ogy, the units of reference are much smaller, 100 square 
metres in rural areas and 1 square metre in the towns and 
cities. Quite precise details of our existence is thus being 
collected on April 5th (though the question on religion is 
voluntary, kept in at the request of nosy social scientists).... 
but the uses to which this information can and will be put 
leave us with no choice but to somehow subvert this state 

Firstly the record of all governments but particular/ the 
British on computer data-its storage and uses-leaves much 
to be desired. Data banks- with information on our lives and 
habits are held by the government services, the security 
industry and private industry. British governments here 
consistently refused to implement any sort of data 
ion law ie:-there are absolutely no safeguards as to what 
information exists on data banks, how it got there or the 
uses to which it was put. A Data Protection Committee was 
set up in 1978 to look into this very problem and its report 
in December of that year outlined a whole series of prov- 
isions aimed at controling the abuse of the data banks of 
information, the most important provision was for anyone 
to be able to find out just what information was held on 
them on computers. Not surprisingly the government ignor- 
ed the report. Again in 1981 a set of international guidelines 
have just been published by organisation for economic co-op 
and development, and Council of Europe. The drafted 
convention is to be signed by European states, but even 
though the British government helped set out the proposals 
it is not yet committed to signing. Change in the British 
system is possible in the near future (mainly because of 
pressure by multi-national computer firms who fear that 
the British government sanctioning of computer abuses is 
destroying confidence in computer technology) but is most 
unlikely to cover all the Council of Europe proposed legis- 
lation: data should be collected lawfully with knowledge 
of those concerned; data used only for specific and legal 
purposes; data should be available to individuals. The govern- 
ment uses of computers is not to be hampered by silly liber- 
al laws concerning privacy. It has much greater uses and the 
best that could be hoped for is that the government would 
set up another bit of bureaucratic authority which alone 
would handle access to the information and the data banks 
and then only covering private data banks not what they 
currently hold. Not a particulary reassuring situation as we 
shall see. 

Take for instance the new computerised electronic mail 
facility which began operation in June 1980 with a link 

between Britain and Canada. It has now been localised, and 
a link between Northern Ireland and Britian was set up in 
February of this year with facilities at the Post Office HQ 
in Be/fast. Users can send data information from computer 
to computer but codes can be used IF AND ONL Y IF THE 
entails the government getting a copy of all this essentially 
private data information all of which can be transferred onto 
SB or army computers. No wonder the government and the 
security industry are so unwilling for people to know just 
how much is kept on us all. 

In 1971 the Army and Police were beginning their computer- 
isation of the entire population of Northern Ireland. The 
past ten years such communications — information technol- 
ogy has seen an ever increasing boom with industry, govern- 
ment bureaucracy and state security employing it at will, 
the only restraint being the rapidly developing level of the 
technology. Such technology can now hold much more 
information retrieve and carry it at a much faster rate. Like 
wise it is possible to break computer links to obtain confid- 
ential files. If this can be done by outsiders-apparent nov- 
ices-what can be done by the giant sophisticated computer- 
ed operated by the British Army at Lisburn which currently 
holds 65% of us on its files? The somewhat spurious safe- 
guards about the census existing in Britain do not even apply 
here.... the Register General and all that data handled up in 
Stormont by the CS is answerable only to Atkins. 

The security industry in Britain (SB,M/5,M16) can claim 
information on the basis of national security in Northern 
Ireland, all information is subject to the catch all phrase... ' 
"subject to the over riding requirements for dealing with 
terrorism". Like phone tapping, letter opening if that means 
census information going to Lisburn as well as Stormont 
so be it. It can be done without the CS even knowing so 
filling in a census form is just like registering with the BA 
at Lisburn. (There is even the possibility of ID cards based 
on a computer-indexed numbers-the census is a vital step 
in this direction). Data from the census can be combined 
with other computer can be transferred from one 
information system to another. Such cross checking can 
reveal yet further stores of information for the state data 
banks. Who can stop the census information from getting 
into the hands of the Lisburn collater? Who can stop them 
cross checking with the DHSS computer? 
So successful has the army's use of the computer been in 
Northern Ireland that the British Army in Europe now uses 
a computerised message system for manoeuvres. Developed 
by Plessey at the cost of £6m it means that infantry can 
send information to each other via radio links, though picked 
up by mobile computer terminals. Also again in Belfast, not 
only is information kept on as much of the population as 
possible, but a computer at Belfast telephone exchange is 
used to monitor literally hundreds of phone calls. 

So it is not a good idea to be filling in that form on April 
5th, no matter who you are. It is rather spurious to emphas - 
ise our civic responsibility and how social welfare, transport 
planning etc can be covered much more efficiently. If social 
planning was the aim, wouldn't something have been done 
this past 200 year? Do we need to build up computer files 
to know that our transport system kills, our welfare services 
are crumbling, our education system is sectarian nonsense? 
The census will not help these. Nor can it be justified by 
statisticians so called social historians... a very weak argument 
for an increase in state security so that academics can talk 
to themselves The function of the census is for the state 
bureaucracy and state security to increase its information 
and hence its power over us. It doesn't seem to make such 
sense merely to refuse to fill in the form, wait to get 
prosecuted (over 400 prosecutions in 1971... a mere £10 

fine, but a refusal to pay the fine means jail) 

thats much too reminiscent of the Rent and Rates Strike of 
the early 70s when politicians encouraged a strike only to 
leave people suffering under the Payment for Debt Act 
many years later. There are other ways to subvert it: 

(i) there is no form date for handing back the forms-delay- 
ing until the last minute is a start. 

(ii) the form doesn't have a built in lie detector.. .so there is 
no good reason why any information given has to be accurate 
(Hi) the best loop hole is to say that you were somewhere 
else on April 5th and April 6th... technically you should fill 
in the form and that other address.. .and if everyone in your 
house was 'away' for those two days, there is no reason why 
your house should be returning a form at all... no wis there? 



Outta ContrgL^g^ 
Women's Supplement 


The right to vote, or equal civil rights, may be good 
demands, but true emancipation begins neither at the 
polls, nor in courts. It begins in woman's soul. History 
tells us that every oppressed class gained true liberation 
from its masters through its own efforts. It is necessary 
that woman learn that lesson, that she realise that her 
freedom will reach as far as her power to achieve her 
freedom reaches. ^=M!^ A GOLDMAN 1911 




Last weekend (Feb 27th-Marcb 1st) the Women's 
Action Group at Queens University held a 
women's conference. The conference was designed 
to talk about issues of concern to women and was 
divided up into lectures and workshops. 
By all accounts the conference was a big success, 
and the women's action group were commended 
for their good organisation and the good atmosp- 
here, that was created over the weekend. 

The conference opened on Friday evening with a session 
on violence-about 25-35 women took part with the 
speakers from Women's Aid and the Association for Legal 
Justice, and a wide ranging discussion developed about 
male violence, state violence and their relation to women. 
On Saturday there were many workshops and lectures on 
issues like health, images of women and body awareness. 
Special mention should be made of a session on sex-stereo- 
typing in education led by Sandra Griffiths, which was 
stimulating and very well received. Later in the day the 
workshops on sexuality also provided friendly and stimul- 
ating discussion over a wide range of related subjects. 
On Sunday evening the conference continued with 
sessions on work, welfare and later in the day a very 
interesting session on politics. Jennifer Fitzgerald on CND 

spoke about the damages of nuclear power in particular 
for women and children-it made for harrowing listening. 
Later there was a discussion on imperialism which 
provoked lively debate-one woman spoke of her involve- 
ment in women against imperialism before its break up and 
the problems of working with groups which were not 
necessarily feminist. This led to a wide ranging discussion 
on the autonomy of the women's movement generally. 
All in all the conference was enjoyed by all who attended 
lets hope that the women's action group go on to build 
on these firm foundations. 


Dr Harvey Jackson was released on continuing 
bail on Monday 2nd March, after pleading not 
guilty to the manslaughter of Charlotte 
Hutton on June 27th 1979. He also pleaded 
not guilty to two charges of procuring miscar- 
riages in 1979, but guilty to five further charges 
of procuring miscarriages. Jackson was arrested 
last May on these charges, and has been out on bail 
bail ever since. We do not know if he was respon- 
sible for the death of Charlotte Hutton, but what 
we do know is that if legal abortions were available 
to all women in Northern Ireland then Charlotte 
might not have died in the way she did and 
the services of Jackson and others involved in 
backstreet abortions would not be required. 
The media in Northern Ireland, and the establishment 
ment would do well to consider that fact instead 
of using it as an excuse to start a witch hunt for 
backstreet abortionists! 

STATUS:Newsmagazine for women 

The first issue of Status appeared this 
month, produced in the South. The most 
obvious drawback about Status is that it 
has not come from the Irish feminist 
movement and although its content may 
change if more and more women write 
articles for it, it is at present aimed up 
market for the more professional types. 
The editorial talks of the 'bad old days 
when there was no Equal Pay Act, no 
contraception, little or no childcare facil- 
ities and no protective family law at all'— 
it's not exactly a feminist paradise down 
south-most people would give it credit 
for being the most socially backward 
country in Europe. 

Its good to see more emphasis on rural 
women and in future we hope to see more 
emphasis on poorer women rather than 
the wives of substantial farmers. 

Graphically the magazine is poor-the two 
full colour features are devoted to an 
Interior i dream kitchen/sitting room and 
a fashion feature-a made to order dress 
in hand painted crepe de chine, price 
unknown-if Status is going to splash out 
on four colour work lets have it in the 
articles on women and not on the look 

that society would have us aspire to, 
and can we be more discriminating about 
the advertising? What's the difference 
between the ads on the No Comment 
page and page 35'Saving Makes the 
Difference' (where Superman comes to 
the rescue and saves a tied up woman on 
a railway line and another carries a 
limp body of a woman away). If I had any 
savings it definitely wouldn't be going 
into that bank if it had to rely on Super- 
man anyway! 

Status has a place in raising women's 
issues but there is still a gap there for an 
all Ireland feminist magazine-its doubt- 
ful if Status will ever fill that gap. 
..../ went to the Women's Conference 
called by Status magazine yesterday. It 
was pretty appalling as expected. A series 
of resolutions and demands for politicians 
to implement. The only two things which . 
stick out in my mind from the day were 
1) that both motions on supporting the 
Armagh women fell through there were 
few voted directly against them an enor- 
mous majority abstained from voting. 
Rita 0 Hare and Ann 0 Brien both spoke 

for the motions, no one spoke against 
them but the whole thing was a fiasco. 
What made it more of a fiasco was that 
a motion calling for more contact betweer 
between women in the north and south 
was passed by a big majority. The voting 
was all by show of hands. One woman 
said one of the reasons the vote for the 
Armagh women was so small (perhaps 
40 out of 600) was because of the way 
the last support campaign was run by 
Sinn Fein. I don't really accept this 
though. It was all very disappointing^ to 
say the least. The other thing that sticks 
in my mind was the applause I got when 
I said that women had to stop making 
demands on politicians who had no inter- 
est in doing anything for women and 
begin to do things on our own. However 
the chances to speak from the floor were 
minimal. Its a shame for you could feel 

the potential there its given me food 

for thought. 

We would like any woman who wants to 
make comments, write articles/small news 
items, coming events to contact us at C/o 
7 Winetavern Street, Belfast 1. Tel:25426 


This is the first of what is likely to 
a feature of Outta Control -a women's 
supplement. At present there are no women 
women's papers being produced in the 
North and we hope this will go some way 
to filling the gap until a new women's 
paper appears. 

For this issue we are looking briefly at 
some of the issues the women's movement 
have raised and will go into them in depth 
in later issues. 

• ■ 


To work in our society means to be exploit- 
ed, to be controlled by other people, to 
have little say in how we spend a large 
amount of our time. To be unemployed is 
also be exploited-it means being stigmatis- 
ed, called a scrounger, yet having a pittance 
on which to survive. In neither case can you 
win unless you are the boss or the govern- 

But within the world of work there are 
some jobs which are more desirable than 
others because they are cleaner, or the 
hours are shorter for the basic rate, or the 
money is better-for the most part in the 
work situation women end up in the 
bottom scales-they are likely to be work 
ing in low paid jobs (cleaning, catering, 
factories, nursing) as unskilled workers 
and in part time work (least protected 

Women workers are also hardest hit by the 
recession and more likely to be unemploy- 
ed. But because if they are married they 
receive no benefits, less likely to sign on. 
Why do women end up in this situation? 
Partly because of lack of encouragement 
in school and at home to go on and get 
qualifications because their destiny is seen 
as marriage and partly because most higher 
positions in the workforce hierarchy » are 
held by men who largely don't take women 
seriously because women's first responsib- 
ility is always seen as the home and not the 

The women's movement si 
access to the workplace on equal terms 
with men as important because only when 
women have economic independence can 
they act as individuals in their own right. 
The campaigns for the Equal Pay Act and 
Sex Discrimination Act were attempts to 
change the position of women in society 
especially in the workplace but after 5 
years in operation they have done precious 
little for women because they were full of 
loopholes and because laws change nothing 
when society's bosses don't really want to 
change. ..all the two acts did was to keep 
women quiet for a while. 
Perhaps though we should be asking do we 
want to be equal to men in exploitation- 
do we want to produce useless goods like 
nuclear weapons or power plants that are 
going to destroy not only ourselves but 
the human race and probably all life on 
this planet, or to mine asbestos or any of 
the other materials likely to kill us. 

Asking for equality in the workplace is 
only a temporary reform— real equality 
comes when all socially useful activity is 
regarded as work and rewarded equally. 
That means that childcare, housework, 
cleaning the roads are seen as just as impo- 

rtant and as useful to society as brain 
surgery or whatever-which means a new 
type of society. 

Reforms in the workplace will help some 
women and men but ultimately only real 
change will mean equality. 


There are still only five full day care 
nurseries for the under fives in Northern 
Ireland, all of them privately run. There 
are few registered child minders, less than 
5% of under fives nursery school places 
and no hope for any improvement in the 
future. Legislation like the Employment 
Protection Acts and Sex Discrimination 
Act is hardly a gain for women if there 
are no childcare facilities. 

Women have to rely heavily on relatives, 
neighbours and friends to look after their 
young children. They enrol them early 
into primary school (70% of 4 year olds 
in primary school) enslaving them in a 
daily schedule which is too much to exp- 
ect from such young children or any child 
for that matter. At a time when they 
should be playing co-operatively together, 
sharing skills, experiences, tantrums and 
tears, they are deposit boxes for formal 
studies, competitiveness and individualism 

The Lower Crescent group are still waiting 
funding to start their day care centre and 
the proposed Markets day care centre 
hasn't opened yet although having receiv- 
ed an EEC grant it looks more hopeful! 


Available free yet not freely available. 

Different religions, notably Catholicism, 
have a strong line on this issue and this is 
reflected in the views of Northern Irish 
women. Although under the British 
health service, contraceptives are free 
to anyone over the age of sixteen in 
Northern Ireland, knowledge of contra- 
ception and how to get it is poor: sex 
education in schools or in the home is 
at best confined to the biology class and 
usually non existent, many believing it 
encourages 'sex before marriage' and 
sleeping around. The number of unwant 
ed pregnancies and women going to 
England for abortions rises each year. 

The Catholic church with its eunuch 
priests and its nuns educate girls in some 
Catholic secondary schools on why 
contraception is wrong and most Catholic 
schools show films on abortion and the 
'murdering of innocent babies'. 

Catholicism pervades other areas of fam- 
ily planning as well. In Newry, for 
example, there are only one or two chem- 
ists who sell contraceptives over the 
counter and Catholic doctors opposed to 
contraception are not forthcoming with 
help and advice: there is only one family 
planning clinic in a population of 
Women all over Northern Ireland are 
generally referred to the Health clinics 
and FPA clinics by their GPs who are 
often ill informed on contraceptive meth- 
ods and what is best for the individual 
woman, irrespective of the doctor's 


There is no safe and effective contracept- 
ive. What with more research on the pill, 
IUD, various suppositories and creams, 
and the research on the rhythm method 
which concludes that a higher percentage 
of abnormal babies are born using this 
method because the woman has conceiv- 
ed at the end of the "unsafe" period 
when the egg is old and deteriorating, we 
are constantly aware of the risks we are 
taking with our own bodies. Yet when 
we complain to our doctors, we are 
treated as neurotic and unco-operative 
patients-how many times I have been 
asked if I am a nurse!-even though 
medical research is proving us to be 
right all along. 

There has only ever been one self help 
group in Belfast (in the early 70s) and 
there is an increasing need for more 
where we can share our problems, 
exchange treatments and support each 


Abortion is a topic not often discussed 
in Northern Ireland. At the present time 
abortion is illegal here except in a few 
very narrow cases and most women 
wanting abortion must travel to England 
meaning extra worry and more money- 
around £200 for travel, accomodation, 
counselling and abortion. For many 
this is often impossible and women 
either have the child, or, go to the back- 
street. Eighteen months ago one woman 
Charlotte Hutton, died as a result of 
such an abortion, and many women 
have faced complications or sterility in 
the same situation. Other women have 
abandoned their babies shortly after 
birth-in the last year 3 babies (all dead) 
have been discovered abandoned here- 
one can only guess at the anguished and 
dreadful situation of women who feel 
forced to abandon their babies in this 

Until there is 100% effective contracep- 

tion erwbman's control of her own 
fertility will need the back up of abortion 
services. But a real choice will only exist 
when women can have children without 
stigma, when having a child will not affect 
your work/career, your very being. Today 
abortion is often a necessity because of 
the pressures of having a child alone, of 
having little money (single parents are 
one of the largest single poverty groups), 
or the impossibility of keeping one more 
child in a larger family. 
The women's movement is not advocating 
abortion for every woman BUT CHOICE- 
every child a wanted child, every mother 
a willing mother, in a society which gen- 
uinely cares for and has responsibilities 
towards its children not just paying these 
phrases lip service, but in a material way. 

Education is a form of social control. It is 
designed to educate children to the'right' 
values of society-to make them obedient, 
to respect authority, to keep good time- 
all of these will be useful in later life when 
they go to work or set up families and 
pass the values down to their children. 

Education also passes on values about 
behaviour especially the behaviour expect- 
ed of boys and girls— boys to be mascul- 
ine, girls feminine, and although most 
children do arrive in primary one with 
already formed ideas about boys and girls 
-education will spend the next 1 1 years 
reinforcing and underlining those ideas. 

If you look at reading books like Peter 
and Jane, Janet and John, the girls are 
always the passive ones, they are always 
looking at John or Peter DOING things 
and help Mummy in the house while the 
boys have fun. In the classroom, teachers 
reinforce this by getting the girls to do 
traditionally feminine jobs like cleaning 
the tables and clearing away whilst the 
boys lift the milkcrates, rearrange the 
tables etc. This all extends into lessons so 

that by 15-16 boys are far more likely to 
do applied and scientific subjects and girls 
to go for the arts or languages. In exams 
though girls generally get higher passes in 
0 and A levels, less go onto university and 
further education although they have the 

In recent years due to pressure schools 
have tried to break these barriers down 
but education REFLECTS the society 
in which it is found and to that end, our 
education mirrors a largely sexist, hierarch: 
ial, competitive and exploitative society- 
again without a real cahange in society, 
change in education with any real meaning 
is impossible. 

Why do men have so much contempt for 

Take domestic violence: its brutal. Women 
are beaten up or are threatened with a 
beating. They are harassed and humiliated 
and often weapons are used. Two women 
were beaten to death in Belfast last year. 

Take rape: women are seen to be asking 
for it. They invite rape by being "feminine 
young and blonde", a myth perpetuated 
by male society and played up by the 

Take women prisoners: they have been 
beaten, slapped about the head with 
threats of sexual humiliation to gain so 
called 'confessions'. They are denied 
proper medical care, (a couple of sanitary 
towels for each period), proper ante-natal 
care, harassment and humiliation from 
male screws. 

It is too easy to blame the system— men 
are exploited, alienated so they take it out 
on women or he was unemployed, lived 
in bad housing and got in with the wrong 
crowd etc etc. This view legitimizes the 
myth that only the underprivileged assault 
women. Men of all ages, of all classes, all 
positions in society including that of power 
over other men, assault all women. Viol- 
ence against women is a univeral and age 
old behaviour. All men have the power 
to terrorise women in our society— to this 
extent they are each responsible for their 
own acts of violence. 

Women's Aid 

There are now 4 refuges in Northern 
Ireland and they are all overcrowded 
and barely financed by the Social Serv- 
ices. Successive Unionist housing policy 
for sixty years and the now heavily 
burdened and under financed Housing 
Executive has meant a severe housing 
shortage (Women may have to wait up to 
six months even though they are put on 
the emergency housing lists) and the 
sectarianism here has forced women back 
into areas where they are still at risk 
from the same men. There are two advice 
centres in Belfast run by Women's Aid 
to give women help, information and 

Reclaim the Night 

There have been two reclaim the night 
marches in Belfast, called in response to 
specific rapes, one in South Belfast 

and one in West Belfast, and the 
continuing violence and harassment in 
society against women. 

Rape Crisis Centre 

Talks are under way for the setting up of 

a rape crisis centre in Belfast. 


Someone once said "that the law like the 
Ritz was open to everyone". There is a 
lot of truth in that statement, the poorer 
less privileged you are the harder the law 
is on you-the richer you are and the 
more contacts you have the easier it is. 
Consequently, most people who end up 
in prison come from working class back- 
grounds while the 'crimes' of exploitation 
and robbing of working people in its 
various legal forms goes unheeded. 
One thing to remember about the law is 
that it always works in the interests of the 
established power in any society-law is 
another form of social control. Consequ- 
ently when the law is reformed or chang 
ed it is done for a purpose-either to 
keep people quiet or to give the illusion 
that change is taking place. 

Even if 'law' did work to bring about 
equality Northern Ireland has always 
lagged behind Britain in terms of social 
legislation (eg' the Abortion Act and 
Homosexuality Bills brought into Britain 
in the 1960s were never made law here), 
the Domestic Proceedings Act, the 
Divorce Reform Act Came in much 
later with Direct rule and the EPA and 
SDA have not been tested here as in 

In Northern Ireland the establishment— 
the ruling class and the churches oppose 
social reform because they refuse to let to 
total control of population in ALL 
matters go out of their hands. But even if 
the laws here were exactly the same as 
Britain would it make much difference, 
in fact does reforming the law ultimately 
change things? 

Basically it doesn't. Real change comes 
about not by changing the law but in 
the practice of society-for instance the 
race relations acts do not stop people 
being rascist nor the existence of groups 
like the National Front-similarly with 
the EPA and SDA which have not been 
successful because of entrenched positions 
opinions which remain unchanged and 
the inability of the male dominated and 
elitist legal system to bring about change 
because it would affect their positions 
of prestige. That is why change in the 
law only becomes effective when it 
directly challenges the powers that be and 
the powers that be are not interested in 
changing the law to the extent that it 
would do that— we are therefore caught 
in a vicious circle. 


We live in a society which controls us not 
just socially but also sexually. We are 
brought up, especial/ in Northern Ireland 
to see marriage and the family as the 
proper place for sexual behaviour. This 
both reinforces the family and often due 

Continued on back page 



Wednesday morning: 4th March 

Protest outside the headquarters of Eastern Board, 
65 University Street at their decision to defer a 
grant of £5,000 for the new refuge in North 
Belfast to meet the fire and health regulations. 
Women's Aid have already raised £11 ,000 of the 
money themselves. 

Thursday morning: 5th March 1 1.30pm 

Protest at Housing Executive offices at back of 
City Hall for the continual hassle that battered 
women have to put up with to get a house. This 
can mean producing medical reports, proving 
cruelty, solicitors letters, police reports, legal separ- 
ation proof. Social workers reports are not accepted 

Saturday morning: 7th March 

Caravan in Cornmarket. Women's Aid (all volunte- 
ers welcome) will be giving out leaflets on the New 
Domestic Violence Order which came in on Dec. 
1st and has not been given adequate coverage. A 
battered woman can now get an exclusion order 
to keep her husband out of not only the house 
but the street or area as well. One such exclusion 
order was served on a man from Bally murphy. 
She can get a Personal Protection Order for herself 
as well. In cases of emergency this will take only 
a day to come through— a woman goes to her JP 

and then to a magistrate. Even though the house 
is solely in the man's name he can still be excluded 
and have to face the possibility of paying the 
mortgage, rent, rates and general upkeep of the 
house. ^ 

Armagh Picket Sunday 8th March. Buses leave 
Dun vi lie Park at 1pm. 


7th March at 7.30pm McMordie Hall Queens 

University, Adm.£2-should be a good night! 

Tickets available from Just Books. 


Saturday March 7th at 2.00pm 

Topic: Women and Health. 


Workshops on women's role in the H Block 
committees, on Armagh and on other aspects of 
women's oppression in Ireland. Speaker from CAP 
and speaker on Payment for Debt Act. Video 
on Ex Prisoners and statement from women in 
Armagh prison to be read out on medical conditior 
conditions, in Divis Community Centre 11.30-5.00pm 
Creche and food available. 


The Law, Women, Gay men and Lesbians 
Barrister to speak. 1 1th March at 7.30pm 
Conference Room, QUB. 

Belfast Women's Centre 

The Women's Centre was opened over a year ago by the 
Northern Ireland Women's Rights Movement with a grant 
from the City Council. Since then the centre has become 
a meeting place for many groups including Women's Aid, 
Northern Ireland Abortion Campaign, the Rape Crisis 
Group as well as the Northern Ire/and Women's Rights 
group themselves. The centre is open to all feminist 
groups and meetings and meetings there are generally open 
to all. 

Recently, the NIWRM have managed to get a grant of 
£2,000. They have decided to use this to employ a part time 
worker for the centre so that it will be open six days a 
week and so become used even more than at present. They 
hope to supplement the money with money from the 
Peggy Seeger concert they have organised on March 7th. 
So they are hoping for a large turnout. If you are interested 
in applying for the job (see box below) or in helping 
in the women's centre generally contact them at 43363 
or sae to 18 Donegal/ Street, Be/fast. 

to open centre during week days, general adminis- 
tration and advice work. Interested? 
Send SAE to NIWRM, 18 Donegall Street, Belfast, 
for job description and further details. 

Continued from page 3 

to the lack of sex education in schools 
leads to frustration and many teenage 
marriages for young people long before 
they have had time to come to terms with 
their growing ideas about life and love 
and sex. Sex is taboo here, precisely 
because a society where sexuality is 
freely expressed is a free society and that 
is not what the state wants. 
In most areas of our lives, particular/ 
the social, our society could hardly be 
accused of being receptive to new ideas, 
yet alone change, and so it is hardly 
surprising that women are seen in very 
traditional roles at work and in the home. 
Women's magazines, television, the role 
of women in the present political situat- 

ion, alternative and feminist literature, 
Itiave all to more or lesser degrees brought 
more discussion of sexual matters and 
women's assigned role in society, but the 
women's movement, although growing, 
is very small and opinions very entrench 
ed and against women being total and 
separate human beings. 

Women are demanding more rights, 
mainly through reforms from the state, 
and to some extent they have been 
accepted, although any threat has been 
absorbed and neutralized within the 
male definition of women's role. 

We are constantly being bombarded with 
how to be a woman: what uniform to 
wear this season ( a skill which most 
women are not given enough credit for!) 

and how we should perform as women. 
The fact that most of us can't make it 
or get married and adopt another role 
model, ending up either way feeling 
inferior and self hating, is as important 
a role as those few who manage to carry 
off the act successfully. 
Lesbians only exist when it benefits the 
state for them to do so— in custody cases 
over children for example— and even in 
the left press they are not given credit. 
At the Armagh picket on International 
Women's Day last year, the republican 
and authoritarian left failed to report 
that a major number of the women 
who came over from England to support 
the prisoners were lesbians and it -has 
never featured articles discussing 
lesbianism . 

f I ! ■ 77 

News& Views ofthej 

Belfast Anarchist Collective ! 

<OQTX*: Com 

, r 3 - 

f dWo^dnjfcS .... As A*a.^ch'i£+s u>£ o&Post 'tHe ayttT©Rjbo 
"tvms pajxM^. cocoes oofc £>j<L$y i^W w6eK5 <9-wdt Od ^koroc 


All four of the hunger strikers are now 
in the prison hospital. Bobby Sands is now 
seriously ill. He has lost over 31 pounds, 
He has been on hunger strike for 49 days 
and his family has been told by the 
doctor looking after him that time should 
now be measured in days rather than 

Frankie Hughes has had the slowest 
weight loss of the four, having now lost 
15lbs. He is feeling tired and his tongue 
is dry. Ray McCreesh has lost 15 lbs and 
is having frequent headaches. Patsy O' 
Hara has suffered the fastest weight loss 
of over 21 lbs now. 


With hunger striker Bobby Sands getting 
elected as MP by the people of Fermanagh 
it has undermined the argument of 
Thatcher and Atkins and co that only a 
small number of people support the 
hunger strikers' demands. 
There was a move to expel Bobby Sands 
from the House of Commons. In other 
words if it came to it, they were prepared 
to 'fuck' the electoral system if it didn't 
suit them. The liberals felt that this 
expulsion was a bit too extreme, and 
anyawy this one man was no threat and 
would soon be dead anyway. 


The electoral support has obviously 
needled the authorities who can be 
assured of cooling their anger by acting 
with an even heavier hand as evidenced 
in the past week, towards H. Block supp- 
orters. The forces are especially eager to 
contain any demonstrations within the 


The demonstrators hadn't a chance to get 
near the City Hall in the recent rally. The 
RUC (backed as usual by the Army) stop- 
ped and arrested people who were on their 
way down to the city hall. Although earl' 
ier on in the day they allowed an ICTU 
March and Rally at the City Hall as part 
of the Unions Week of (In) Action. There 
we had the same boring, bureaucratic farts 
who repeatedly tell us how bad things are 
for us (which we already know), how jobs 
Continued on back page 


On Sunday March 29th, Youth against 
H -Block/ Armagh staged a march from 
Whiterock to the City centre - Of course 
the march didn't get there. 
The marchers were stopped in College Sq. 
and faced with a cordon of Brits and RUC 
who were happily clicking cameras. 
Stewards held the militant marchers back 
from the line of security forces and event- 
ually got the youth to sit-but not for 
long.. ..From the back came a jeer followed 
by a bottle. From then on rioting broke 
out. The youth moved back to Divis flats 
where they had lots of ammunition and 
cover from the plastic bullets. The notic- 
able difference between this march and 
others was the large scale involvement of 
all present. 

Although a few people did get hit, the 
youth took it all in good spirits and were 
totally undeterred. The youth were event- 
ually forced back to the flats with the 
Brits behind, but the Brits did not stay 
long as they were met with a barrage of 
objects and noise from the ilats, with term 
ants helping the marchers. The Brits soon 
retreated and all was calm. 

That march has proved that still the milit- 
ancy of the Irish youth has not been brok- 
en and the peoples answer to the Brits and 
RUC is still the same-OUT! 
But, like everything, it had it's faults-but 
the fault was not the youths, but of those 
who did not attend and participate as they 
usually do on such occasions, 
sad it is that the youth (The slaves of 
slaves of slaves) get no recognition. Is it 
merely for fashion and credibilities sake 
that people recognise certain class struggl- 
es and leave the unfashionable until it bec- 
omes popular? 



You will by now be aware of the anti pol- 
ice riots, the establishment of a temporary 
no go area and the attacks on property in 
South London, around Brixton, during 
10-12th April. 

By Monday 13th, the area was under a 
full scale police occupation. We contacted 
a friend who helps to run an Anarchist 
bookshop ('121'), in Railton Road, centre 
of the insurrection and who lives in the 
same area. He told us that the bookshop, 
which had up a poster supporting last 
years Bristol riot, was one of the few 
shops not wrecked and burned out. 

Inside the half mile long no go area, he 
said that communication and co-operation 
between all people young and old, black 
and white was on a level he hadn't exper- 
ienced before. Because there were no 
leaders cr organisations manipulating 
them, those involved were able to use 
their creativity and determination to 
defend and EXTEND their resistance. 
Realising the dangers of being isolated, 
groups of people spread out into nearby 
areas to attack police and property. It 
seems that people and private houses were 
not attacked. Police had to turn the local 
police station into a fortress to protect 
arrested prisoners. It is clear that the only 
"outsiders " were the police and the thugs 
like Whitelaw who ventured into the area. 
Our friend also said that people are 
jubilant and have a new confidence in 
their ability to resist the State. 

The demands for the withdrawal of the 
police echoes similar desires in Belfast. 
We would like to see the entire working 
class of London and Belfast seize control 
of the city and kick out all police and 
soldiers. And then other towns.. ..and 
Europe and 



On March 17th. in London, the windows 
of the Soviet airline offices— Aerof lot- 
were smashed and the words 'Remember 
Krondstadt' daubed on the walls. This 
action commemorated the suppression of 
the Krondstadt Soviet (workers council) in 
March 1921 by the Bolshevik Red Army 
led by Leon Trotsky, which resulted in 
the massacre of up to 8,000 revolutionary 
sailors and workers who tried to defend 
themselves. They had called for the Russ- 
ian revolution to be continued against the 
pa rty t h e h In* povwer. f ^ 

Continued on back page 


Over the past year, summary execut- 
ion has been the key Army/Police 
strategy in dealing with young "joy 
riders" in West Belfast. 
The latest fatal incident took place on the 
28th. March on the Grosvenor Road, after 
three young men in a stolen car were chas- 
ed from Smithfield by a UDR landrover 
patrol. The UDR (predictably) said that 
they saw a gun being pointed at them from 
the back seat of the car. They opened fire, 
killing one person, Patrick McNally, and 
capturing another. Local witnesses to the 
killing say that at no time was there a gun 
in evidence - not that the UDR seemed to 
care, putting on an exuberant "victory" 
display of clenched fists for the occasion. 

This was only one of many such incidents 
to take place recently. In the past 1 8 
months, three young people have been 
shot dead, another 38 recieving gunshot or 
crash injuries, and two more dying in crash- 
es. The usual Army/Police justifications 
ate that they find it "impossible" to distin- 
guish between joyriders and terrorists, or 
that a gun was seen to be pointed at them 
and that young people engaged in such 
activities could only expect to "face the 
consequences',' although they're usually 
shot in the back. Local Priests and Politic- 
ians have made much the same sort of stat- 
ements, "They can only expect the conseq 
uencesP coupled with calls for the return 
of the RUC into the area. 

The incidence of thefts from local people, 
i savage beatings, rapes etc. has also increas 
ed, causing increasing fear and uncertainty 
in the community. Young (and not so you- 
ng) hoods seem to be gaining increasing 
strength. The RUC, having been somewhat 
excluded since the establishment of the No 
go areas, are attempting to use this as a 
pretext for their return. Indeed, some of 
the hoods have been found with guns whi- 
ch were known to have previously been in 
the posession of the RUC. For their part, 
the Provos haven't had much success with 
their policy of Kneecapping as a preventat- 
ive threat.. ..seen by many as being indist- 
inguishable from state rule by force of 
arms and fear. 

The situation is pretty difficult to work at 
....The RUC and their dirty tricks, the 
Army /UDR and their policy of shoot to 
kill, the hoods ripping of those who can 
least afford it, going for soft targets such 
as old and single people. The RUC certain- 
ly know what they're doing in their attem- 
pts to bring about 'normalisation.'... already 
their 'soft arm is moving in. 

Last Summer, amidst a blaze of publicity, 
"Extern Organisation" announced that 
they were intending to start a new scheme 
-The West Belfast Auto Project-by which 
young persons engaged in joyriding would 
be referred to them, to be included in 
their project. Extern is a four year old 

body, consisting of social workers, probat- 
ion officers, lawyers and other people 'wh 
ose professional activities are concerned 
with the criminal justice (sic) system in 
N.Ireland!' Other activities of Extern incl- 
ude 'Probationary and after care hostels! 
They describe their aims as being 'primar- 
ily diversionary and preventative! In other 
words, channelling what the state would 
regard as potentially dangerous energies 
into safe, controlled projects.. .A public 
relations exercise in what legal, approved 
and granted bodies can achieve. 

Externs arrogance in analysing the condit- 
ions that young people live in disgusts: 
"Taking and driving away motorcars has 
become a feature of the youth sub-culture 
in the West Belfast area. It has replaced for 
those involved, the excitement which they 
found in street incidents at the height of 
civil unrest. It is symptomatic of the adol- 
escent stage of development (we'll beat it 
out of them eventually), it provides the 
opportunity to impress the peer group- 
being involved in taking and driving away 
confers status and esteem" 

So, Externs objectives are not concerned 
with changing the way in which people 
relate to motorcars as "status" symbols- 
of course not-the need to achieve and 
impress is supposedly a healthy thing— one 
of the foundation stones of the present 
society in which the real needs of people, 
old and young, aren't facilitated for.. ..Ext- 
erns role is merely one of containing the 
frustration that exists as a result of a high- 
ly alienated society, televisions and drink 
ing clubs to temporarily relieve the misery 
(artificially), creating a misery of their 
own, "diverting" they call it. What we do 
not need is another cheap vanguard, telling 
us to look away from ourselves to a forei- 
gn body who will take on the responsibil- 
ity of solving all -they won't. What it 
means is leaving all to a system which is 
trying to regain respect and return the pol- 
ice into the midst of our lives. (Extern ad- 
mit that, to be successful, they need to 
work alongside the police). This is one of 
the roots of the alienation.. .so many grou- 
ps and organisations, armed or unarmed, 
who we are told to leave all problems to. 
We are told that it is unnecessary for us to 
even think about such problems as joy- 
riding... leave it to the system. If we are 
ever to take our lives into our own hands, 
we should immediately address the proble- 
ms around us, without such obstacles to 
REAL community involvement as social 
workers, probation officers, arrogant midd 
le class liberals "doing their bit" for the 
social good. 

In Spain there exists independant 'cultural 
centres^' rooms, houses, cafes, where peop- 
le go to meet, discuss and learn from each 
other and work on problems which are im- 
mediate to their lives, unlike our 'own' 
state run community centres. Hopefully 
in the next issue, we'll be carrying an 
article that we'll be able to learn somethi- 
ng from. PS. Isn't it funny that almost 
all buildings for sale in the working class 
ghetto areas sell with licenses for the sale 
of alcohol? 


On Saturday 28th March Ian Paisley held 
the final Carson Trail rally in demonstrat- 
ion against the Anglo Irish discussions. A 
counter flow system operated with as 
many people coming down the hill from 
Stormont as going up at any one time. 
The bands as they arrived at the feet of 
the Carson statue turned and dandered 
back down, whether to march up again 
or just to keep on walking to the pub is 
anyone's guess. Its no wonder the 'big' 
man intermittingly kept shouting 'And 
they are still coming in the gate'. 

The march was solely a numbers game-the 
guesses wide and varied from 100,000 (Paisley) 
30,000 (RUC) just under 10,000 (Irish Times) 
between 5,000 to 6,000 (meself). Peter Robin- 
son took great pains to intimidate the media into 
reporting the large turnout...not often is it 
possible to walk up to the main platform with- 
out having to push through a crowd. 
Impressions varied-it wasn't quite the drunken 
atmosphere of other loyalist/orange marches. It 
was slightly more colourful than an H Block 
demo with a lot more bands in their day glo 
oranges, reds, whites and blues.. ..the right hand 
straight up to God during the I swears echoed 
fascism. ..the short prayer lasting well over a 
quarter hour damning everybody and everything 
and containing the usual religious hocus pocus 
wasn't even entertaining and attracted the 30+ 
age group only. (1,000 actually stayed for the 
meeting). Whereas everyone younger was 
attempting to make a day of it.. .whether that 
was boozing, queueing up to buy crisps or scrap- 
ping with the Glen skinheads. 

Well, phase two has ended and the talks are still 
going on. ..and go on they will whether Haughey 
Thatcher say they are/aren't cause they always 
have been whether directly or indirectly through 
the E.E.C. 

Even full of holes, Reagan is still vying 
with Thatcher as to who can snarl the 
loudest at the Russian war-lords, who in 
turn are busy trying to stop most Polish 
people from claiming back some of their 
lost dignity. The big-Time generals are 
blundering and spending their way to 
wards a war any war. So preparations 

are being made at all levels late last 

month even the 26 local district councils 
were given their instructions by the NIO 
as to how to behave when things got outtaj 
their control. Basically the local councils 
have no real say in the command structure 
the British Govt, would set up if nuclear 
war was triggered, or even if the local 
scene got too hot to handle.. ..The main 
centre of control would rest in the secret 
Govt/military bunker at Armagh, housing 
the "centre for regional control" This bun 
ker is the nerve centre, sending out instru- 
ctions to four military area controls,again 
in secret underground bunkers (like the 
one up the Malone Rd.) 

The job of the 26 regional councils is mer- 
ely to supervise what is left of a disaster, 
to take orders from the police and military 
to bury the dead, to hoard the food. That 
these little self -opinionated fools can sit 
down and talk about such madness, take 
their brief from an insane government 
with a police and military back-up and 
then ask us to VOTE for them-any of the 
them-in May, is beyond comprehension. 

f ^Tl^« e _ <r m Jn/t reason we have the bomb is due to the 

A JJLS iddl iLlllL Vj development of the state, capital, multina- 

tionals who manipulate and exploit on 

peoples energy 

About 200 attended the CND lecture/mee- 
ting at Queens University on Tuesday ,2nd. 
April. The panel numbered four, a chairp- 
erson, two political hacks, Kilfedder of the 
'Popular Unionist Party,' and an unknown 
from the SDLP, plus Bruce Kent, director 
of CND. 

Kilfedder kicked of with a half hour orat- 
ion about how good he was to be opposed 
to nuclear missiles, considering many a 
good 'un "has been pushed into the political 
wilderness for such a stand. 

The person from the SDLP was barely aud- 
ible, muttering something about "the 
crisis" before his beard engulfed his throat. 
Lastly Bruce Kent spoke, an extremely 
articulate, smooth and witty deliverer who 
launched straight away into the CND anal- 
ysis of why we have nuclear missiles. First- 
ly, we heard of the institutions who foster 
confrontation, domination.... the State, 
churches, multinationals etc.. .and because 
of these characteristics, these institutions 
have forced us to live under a nuclear 
threat. The CND director then made prop- 
osals as to how we should best oppose the 
Trident missiles etc.and that is through 
these very institutions who have created 
the confrontation, domination, exploit, 
ation and hierarchies. Indeed the churches 
should be at the forefront of opposition 
to nuclear missiles! In fact, it is obvious 
that all these institutions should be got rid 

The local Belfast CND branch takes the 
Bruce Kent analysis to an extreme. They 
state on their application form that they 
are opposed to the removal of any uraniun 
from Ireland unless there are some guaran- 
tees that it won't be used for missiles 

and who is to give these guarantees? Of 
course -the state, the same state who's 
pushing to have nuclear missiles, and also 
to build them, which is a totally absurd 

Opposition to the nuclear arms race then 
has to follow certain lines suggest the 
pannel, a pannel which represents the thin- 
king of CND in general and CND Belfast 
in particular. 

Kilfedder is convinced that the best strate- 
gy is to write to your MP, and when he 
asked how many of the 200 present had in 
fact written to their duly elected represent 
atives (sic) he was met with silence.There 
was only one sensible voice who suggested 
that they wouldn't even talk to their MP 
if they called to their front door. 
CND opposition is one of co-option, where 
you join CND, pay your membership and 
the committee will do the rest... it will 
petition, appeal or whatever on your beh- 
alf... .occasionally they will ask you out to 
parade in a march from point A to B and 
so participate in the numbers game. 

Passive marches of this kind will do noth- 
ing to change the state's plans on nuclear 
arms, as can be seen from the massive and 
ineffective CND rallies of the '60's. The 
renewed intrest now seems to have been 
stimulated by the growth in the independ- 
ant anti-nuclear groups, but is much more 
juperficial. CND policy is one of opposing 
:he bomb alone — it does not involve itself 
vith nuclear power, uranium mining (unl- 
ess it is for bomb production), the existen- 
* of armies and ecological questions. The 

that strength. Nuclear power is not very 
different in that it is developed by the 
same people for the same objective, one of 
centralised exploitation. To be opposed to 
one we've got to be opposed to the other. 
To be opposed to the nuclear industry in 
total is to be opposed to the notion of the 
state and exploitation - This is one respo- 
nsibility which can't be co-opted to the 
CND committee. CND's support seems to 
be based on open - style protest, but req- 
uiring no opposition or resistance to the 

A question that must be asked is why 
were the special branch invited along to 
stand at the back? Plus, who did the invit- 
ing? I also think that the whole format of 
the meeting must be questioned. What is 
the benefit of three personalities regurgit- 
ating words to bolster their failing egos? 
In the discussion that followed, why was 
it that only a dozen or so people particip- 
ated?Were the other 190 empty of though- 
ts and suggestions? - I think not. 
I think it would have been a more worth- 
while evening if organisers energies had 
gone into seeing that there was informat- 
ion available that could have been brought 
away, read, and thought about. Also,every 
one present could have broken up into 
workshops and discussed, rather than diff- 
erentiating between Trident and Cruise 
missiles, how they are going to challenge 
the nuclear state and get on with it. Create 
your own independant groups, ideas and 

Hunger Strike 

As far as we know, the 3 1 Marxist and 
Anarchist prisoners of the Red Army 
Fraction/ 2nd. of June Movement have 
called off their hunger-strike. This follows 
the death of one of the hunger strikers. 
They were demanding to be treated as 
prisoners of war, get free association and. 
communication, an end to electrical surve- 
illance and the release of two who are 
critically ill. 

Despite deliberate media silence, many 
actions-occupations, demonstrations,riots. 
pickets etc.-were carried out in support 
of the prisoners. Since the death, rioting 
has occured in several West German Cities 
and is likely to continue, with the police 
on alert for riot duty. 
"Amnesty InternationaTnow say that they 
will take up the prisoners case ( which the> 
have supposedly been doing since 1979), 
although on previous performances, we 
can expect very little from them. 

Irish and British anti-nuclear people are 
planning activities against Rio Tinto Zinc... 
May 4th.-llth.. They are the world's most 
corrupt and powerful multi-national mining 
concern and amongst other things, are 
directly responsible for thousands of deaths 

in Namibia. in their attempt at extracting 

uranium to feed the western nuclear machines 

May make Rio Tinto Stink!! 

Govt, at Work 

The British war machine is spending £3000 
million on their air defences. A large chunk 
of this —£100 million— is going to go to 
U.K.A.D.G.E United Kingdom Air Def- 
ence Ground Environment (improved!).... 
the communications network which man- 
ages and directs the nuclear weapons. A 
large part of this bill— 80%— is being donat- 
ed by the US dominated NATO. Most of 
the money will be spent on 50 undergrou- 
nd "command and communication 
centres!!.. many will have computers to 
handle information from radar aircraft and 
new radar installations. Planes and remote 
fixed radar will feed information to centr- 
al control centres, where it is decided whi- 
ch missiles and which aircraft will attack 
and kill -already 2 new military radars 
have been Buchan in NE Scot- 
land and Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides. 

Twelve such stations will be built in the 
1980's, and when war is imminent, when 
the British/US generals are ready to attack 
the radars will be moved to a 'safe' 
is thought that one of the 12 mobile radar 
units will be at Bishopscourt, and in time 
of war moved to St. Angels (Fermanagh) 
or near Ballycastle. But won't the Russians 
respond and go for them there? Not quite, 
the British and Americans plan to build 
decoys.. .radar that will transmit identical 
signals, give out the same amount of heat... 
so that any retaliated strike with a nuclear 
warhead will head for the decoy. So the 
mobile radar at Bishopscourt gets shifted 
North.... is it a decoy station that the Brit- 
ish military are currently building at St. 
Johns Point in SE Down, a mere 12 miles 
away from there? Wouldn't it be a pity if 
the entire population of Downpatrick and 
the surronding area were to get wiped out 
-just because the British war mongerers 
operated a decoy? 

Now that the media has 'done' El Salvador, there has 
been very little information in the press. However the 
killings continue, backed by US money, weapons and 
personelL Recently the right wing death squads 
executed 26 people in one ghetto area who were 
fingered by a tout. This happened while the 
army stood by and watched. 

Hunger Strike com. from Page 1 
are scarce, how the welfare state is crumb- 
ling, how the government is going in the 
wrong direction and please go quietly 
home and see you same time next year ( 
(hopefully we'll have wised up to them by 



Workers on their day of action in support 
of the Hunger Strike were also prevented 
from entering the city centre at College 
Street on their way to hold a picket out- 
side Transport House, the ITGWU head- 
quarters, rioting followed when the 
demonstration broke up. 

The GPO occupation in Royal Avenue in 
the City Centre was short lived as once 
again the RUC moved quickly in and 
again arrests were made. 

Undoubtedly and unfortunately things 
really will 'take off one way or another 
where the last hunger strike left off ie": 
when Bobby Sands is about to die. There 
will be fewer mass organised events and 
more spontaneous actions. 

There is still concern about the rather 
confusing end to the last hunger strike. 
With the prisoners relying on the goodwill 
of the British Government to carry out 
the verbal agreement to meet the prisoners 
demands and then reneging surely history 
and indeed their own situation has taught 
them not to trust the Brits. And the Brits 
arrangement was even more suspect when 
before and after the Hunger Strike they 
repeatedly stated that there would be no 
sell out and not giving in to the prisoners 


When the last hunger strike was declared 
'over' most action groups 'stood down'. 
However they should have been encourag- 
ed to continue to wait for the final out 
come and even taken up other issues. 
It was clearly demonstrated that a lot of 
local groups were effectively able to carry 
out dynamic and often original actions 
and propaganda collectively and individ- 
ually. As people felt directly involved 
they were able to do things for themselves 
without being led by some political party, 
or central committees. Local organising 
led to people frankly debating the wider 
situation they found themselves in. 


Five years of protest by the prisoners has 
not won back political status but has 
shown that only through the support and 
actions of people outside can their 
demands be won. A lot of people actively 
supporting the last hunger strike were 
harassed, beaten up, fined and imprisoned 
and murdered because of their actions. 
Therefore the prisoners inside should have 
a responsibility towards informing people 
and not just consulting their political 

groups as to any negotiations with the 
government. This would clarify publicly 
any agreement which the British state 
might reach. They would find it more 
difficult to winkle out of it. 


The mass burning and non return of the 
census forms has provided yet another 
way of resisting Thatcher. Some local 
groups have merely said'no status', 'no 
census' while other groups have exposed 
the real role of ;the census as yet another 
weapon |J Jp| 

Shooting thej|to«*^V»Wr9 well be 
classed as an $!Mt^fT^g||j5fQ£^-- 
simply collertijjrj©BTw? torms is cert- 
ainly grabbing^fte wrong end of the stick. 
If it was indeed carried out by an anti- 
H Block supporter, she did not deserve 
to be shot because other people decided 
to co-operate and fill in their forms. 
Are the 23,000 people employed by the 
state also enemies? The action of seizing 
the census forms from the collectors 
can only lead to government delay in 
getting them again or prosecuting those 
who have not returned them. 

With the timely death of Frank Maguire 
in Fermanagh, this had given the opport- 
unity to put forward Bobby Sands as a 
candidate. It was a straight fight between 
Unionist Harry West and Bobby Sands 
(the anti unionist candidates having 
temporarily withdrawn from the contest 
until Bobby Sands resigns or dies when 
the election can be 'properly' fought). 
Although not going directly forward as 
a Sinn Fein candidate but on the label as 
an H Block prisoner, standing Bobby 
Sands is a departure for Sinn Fein who 
have usually abstained from and boycott- 
ed elections in the North. They didn't 
recognise the British State (though they 
go in for elections down South thus 
showing that they are ultimately statist) 
However will the voting of the IRA O/C 
Bobby Sands be seen by Sinn Fein as the 
total legitimatisation of the military 
struggle or do the votes of the Fermanagh 
people simply mean a peaceful way of 
rejecting Britain's policies/presence or 
for humanitarian reasons or is there no 
alternative but to vote for Bobby Sands 
to stop a loyalist getting the satisfaction 
of being elected? 


Perhaps people should have ignored the 
democratic process and abstained from 
this and any other election farce thereby 
supporting the prison struggle indirectly 
and rejecting the electoral system compl- 
etely. Okay, West would have got in but 
the system of money and power continue 
to dominate us all, one way or another 
so what difference does it make who gets 

The election has provided an armchair 
'spectacle' for the pople of Fermanagh anc 
and the mass media. The organisers believe 
it is useful in gaining publicity in the 
mass media. But the reliance on bourgeois 
media only reflects our own weaknesses 
in communicating and reinforces the idea 

that after a period of silence on the prison 
issue, TV is once again 'interesting'. 
Ultimately it will do more harm than good 


The media were hysterical in equating a 
vote for Bobby Sands as a vote for terror- 
ism little expecting him to win. The media 
have hung themselves with their own 
words. And probably many others by 
insinuating that everybody who voted, 
supported the military campaign, justify- 
ing them as legitimate targets in the eyes 
of the loyalist paramilitary groups. 

Poland cont. from Page 1 

Their programme (which is available at 
'Just Books') is similar in some ways tc 
the demands developed by the working 
class resistance in Poland. 

At present in Poland, there is a class war. 
In every workplace, people have created 
assemblies of ALL the workers, co-ordinat 
ed in each town and region by Workers 
Councils of recallable delegates. They res- 
ist by seizing directlyall factories and offi- 
ces in a region (like the week long general 
strike and occupations in the Bielsko- 
Biala region in March), as well as some 
Govt, buildings. There was also the four 
hour TOTAL general strike on March 27th 
Such working class solidarity is on a scale 
rarely experienced anywhere in the world 
before, and is a lesson and inspiration to 
us all. 


The Polish ruling class has two major choi- 
ces—to concede reforms, or to oppose 
with their army (if they will fight), backed 
by the Russian Army. 

But there is a world wide economic recess- 
ion, and everywhere people are being forc- 
ed to accept worse standards of living 
conditions, coupled with increasing state 
repression. At the same time, all Govts, 
grow more ruthless in order to defend 
themselves. They are unable to concede 
any more reforms or improvements to us. 

So what choices for those working and liv- 
ing in Poland? If they seek reforms (as 
they are at present), the rulers will contin- 
ue to encourage the growing Solidarinosk 
bureaucracy. They will use it, coupled 
with the Catholic church, to institutional- 
ise and divide, weaken and control the 
workers councils and assemblies. In this 
way, resistance could be undermined, then 

However, the other choice is for social 
revolution, the seizure of all production 
(already proved possible) and the streets 
and land too, under the direct control of 
the people themselves (not the new Solid- 
arinosk officialdom). They will need to 

defend it with arms, and to call for solida- 
rity and similar action amoungst workers 
throughout Europe (East and West), spre- 
ading across the whole world. After all,we 
are all in the same boat when it comes 
down to it, and the alternative seems to 
be to accept as inevitable a world war and 

Occupations are on the increase in Ireland 
(like Euroweld) and Britain-it's about 
time they were spread, co-ordinated, over- 
flowed into the neighbourhoods, and 
moved onto the offensive against this exp- 
loiting and destructive system. 

As we seize control in this way, we would 
begin at the same time to transform our 
lives and enviroment. 




Women's Supplement 

The right to vote, or equal civil rights, may be good 
demands, but true emancipation begins neither at the 
polls, nor in courts. It begins in woman's soul. History 
tells us that every oppressed class gained true liberation 
from its masters through its own efforts. It is necessary 
that woman learn that lesson, that she realise that her 
freedom will reach as far as her power to achieve her 
freedom reaches. EMMA GOLDMA N 1911 


In the early seventies a new contraceptive drug was added to the exist- 
ing list. The new drug was hailed widely as an answer to all women's 
problems concerning pregnancy. Why? You might ask-was it safer? 
was it more effective than the pills in existence? did it have no side 
effects? On all these questions the answer was a resounding no— but it 
did have one different feature from other contraceptive drugs. You 
didn't take it once a day-it was injected, only once every three to six 
months and you were guarded for that whole period. No more worries 
about forgetting, easy, quick and cheaper. 

Well, that was what the drug company who 
produced it claimed anyway. The drug was 
marketed in the USA by a company called 
UpJohn-its name was Depo Provera. In the 
USA though, to sell a drug you must have 
the approval of the Food and Drug Admin- 
istration. As with all drugs the FDA initiated 
investigations and in 1971 refused it a 
licence, banning the drug after research show 
showed that it caused breast cancer in dogs. 
The Upjohn company immediately appealed 
the decision but ten years later the drug is 
still banned in the USA and more recent 
research has shown a connection between 
cervical cancer and depo provera. 

So after that you might be forgiven for 
thinking that that was the end of it.. 
were wrong. Upjohn having spent a consid- 
erable amount of time and most importantly 
money on the development of depo provera 

had to make up their losses and they have. 

They simply exported the drug out of the 
USA to any country that wasn't as fussy as 
the US Food and Drug Administration. In 
practical terms that means most Third 
World countries and also many European 
countries including Britain— but we'll return 
to that. 

This process is known as 'dumping' and is a 
common practice in the USA. Drugs, chem- 
icals, pesticides and baby products have all 
been dumped on the third world when 
turned down or banned in the USA. Altho- 
ugh the US government has banned the item 
if we take depo provera it is the US govern- 
ment under the guise of the US agency for 
International Development that exports the 
item. AID buys up large quantities of prod- 
ucts to send to developing countries- in 
particular it buys up contraceptives because 
it believes that people outside the USA are 
breeding too much and should be stopped. 

It then distributes these products at a cost 
to countries around the world and South 
American, African and Asian women end 
up using products which have been declared 
unsafe for American women. So over 5 
million women in 70 countries have used 
depo provera despite the huge risks involved 

dizziness and headaches AND a high 
chance of infertility. The problem though 
is that once you have the injection then 
the side effects are with you until the drug 
wears off-there is no way to stop it. 
Upjohn themselves recommend that the 
drug should only be used in cases where 
a woman has completed her family, or in 
older women where all else has failed— yet 
the drug is used wholesale as a family 
planning method among young women 
throughout the third world. 

But lets get nearer home. In Britain the 
Committee on Safety of Medicines who 
control drugs does not have the power 
that the FDA has- so although it has 
approved Depo- Provera for 'short term' 
use it has no powers to ban it. Consequen- 
tly Depo Provera has been used and cont- 
inues to be used in Britain and is recomm- 
ended in MIMS- a monthly reference 
index of drugs sent free to doctors. In the 

The drug is injected by a doctor or nurse 
and is effective for up to six months depen- 
ding on dosage. As well as the links between 
depo provera and cancer, the drug itself has 
many side effects including constant nausea, 

We would like any woman who wants to 
make comments, write articles/small news 
items, coming events to contact us at C/o 
7 Winetavern Street, Belfast 1. Tel:25426 


The day care nursery at the Royal Victoria is to be closed down at the 
end of May. It was one of three nurseries in Northern Ireland, all 
privately run, and had provision for seventy children, with another 
hundred on the waiting list. This is just another example of how the 
cuts in public expenditure are affecting the workers-both the 
bus service and the internal bank, both important facilities for people 
working in shifts, have already been closed down. 

Hospital work is not a nine to five job and 
apart from the usual difficulties (sickness, 
lack of permanancy) women face when 
leaving their children with childminders, 
or relatives, the women affected at the 
Royal will have the extra problem of 
finding someone to look after their young 
children at unsuitable hours. This may 
well prove to be impossible and will force 
them to consider part time work or 

The provision of nurseries in Northern 
Ireland is scandalously non existent. Three 
years ago the British Government's 
White Paper 'Policy and Objectives for 
Daycare and Education for the Underfives' 
was advocating the doubling of nursery 
schools and playgroups by 1983, which 
although it hasn't happened yet, would 
still have been hopelessly too little to 
affect the situation. 

Women have always had to work outside 
the home to supplement the family 
income or because their men were 
unemployed. The closures and the cuts 
are forcing women back into the home: 
and the State is in no way going to make 
it easier for them to compete for the 
few jobs going by providing good child- 
care provision. There are already hundr- 
eds of applications for jobs in the Royal 
and they are interviewing 50 people after 
selection procedures for low level jobs. 

The State has always used women as 
pawns in the struggle to find and keep 
employment. During the last war the 
Ministry of Commerce ran day care nurse- 
ries in Northern Ireland because women 
were needed to work in industry. When 
the war ended and some of the men 
returned they were all closed down so 
that the women would be forced to leave 
their jobs for the men. The Ministry in 
their circular of 1945 reinforced this by 
a great discovery of the time 'the best 
place for a child under the age of two is 
at home with his mother' 
This view that women should be at home 
caring for their children and husbands 
is a relatively new idea. From the sevent- 
eenth century onwards, the family has 
become a centre for childcare and work 
is seen as an activity done outside the ' 

The view that women should remain at 
home is reinforced through the media and 
the State by the lie of the ideal family- 
two parents, father employed, semi-det- 
ached house with car and the requisite 
two children-that the majority of us do 
not fit into this prescription is obvious. 
The role of 'mother' is exaggerated. There 
is no way that a woman has unlimited 
time and energy to spend with her child. 
For a start she may have two, five or ten 
other children to consider, as well as all 
the other domestic chores and financial 
hassles to consider. She may not want to 
fit in with the State's stereotype and 
want to carry on with her work. A purp- 
ose built day nursery, playgroup, creche, 
or nursery school is a stimulating 
environment, probably much more so 
than the home. Children need to mix 
with other children of the same age and 
whether it be for two and a half hours 
at a playgroup or all day in the nursery, 
women need the break too. A child cooped 
up at home with his/her mother all the 
time is more likely to emerge the 
aggressive, possessive ego centric clinging 
to mother five year old we have all either 
been or seen-the junior version of many 

grown ups around him/her. , . 

coma on lacing page 




On the 8th April Dr Harvey Jackson was 
jailed for three years for performing three 
abortions. At his trial the judge said that 
although Jackson had probably acted 
out of feeling for the women, abortion 
was none the less a serious crime in 
Northern Ireland. It appears that Jackson 
did not charge very much for his services 
in one case £4, and in another £20, and his 
defence council argued that both these 
sums were offered to Jackson, as he would 
have helped the women involved for 

In all three cases the women involved 
suffered some sort of complication after 
the abortion, one woman died though 
she had been to another person before she 
came to Jackson and so he was not held 
responsible for her death. Jackson also 
had a drinking problem and the abortions 
were carried out in unsanitary conditions 
and in a crude and dangerous way. 
These three cases point to a simple 
truth - that whatever the danger to them 
selves women will have abortions. The 
fact that abortion is illegal in Northern 
Ireland just means that if they don't 
have the money to go to England then 
they will find other means which may 
have tragic results. Whatever we may feel 
about the way that Jackson carried out 
these abortions, it is clear that he acted 
out of concern for the women involved. 
His sentence is an indictment of both the 
legal and the medical professions here 
who can stand by and let women suffer 
needlessly because they cannot obtain 
free and legal abortions here. The 
results of the court case should not have 
been a prison sentence but a call for 
legal abortions in Northern Ireland, for 
until that happens there will always be 
such cases and women will continue to 
have illegal abortions here, or be forced 
to go to England to have one. After only 
four months of 1981 the figures for 
women going to England for that purpose 
has almost doubled, that means that the 
total figure for the year is likely to be well 
over 3000, and taking Ireland as a whole 
that could be around 7000! 

PEGGY SEEGER - in concert 

Congratulations to the Northern Ireland 
Women's Rights Movement for one of the 
best concerts in Belfast in a long time. 
The concert was the one organised for 
International Women's Day this year. It 
was held in the McMordie Hall at Queens, 
and followed the rally in the city centre 
earlier that day when the theme was 
women's health. 

The concert was in two parts, the first 
contained several women entertainers who 
sang in a variety of languages, and proved 

that the women's movement here has a 
wealth of talent where music is concerned. 
It would be a good idea to get them all 
together again soon. The second part 
of the concert was given over to Peggy 
Seeger, who opened by apologising for 
her star billing, and praising the women 
who had gone before her. She was 
accompanied by her son, and together 
they played and entertained us for the rest 
of the evening. 

I must admit that I went to the concert 
with some trepidation - 1 had heard 

records by Peggy Seeger before and didn't 
really like them a lot. But the live Seeger 
does not compare with the recorded one. 
She was amazing on stage, vital, humerous, 
and at one with her whole audience. 
The evening ended with all the performers 
back on stage singing with the audience 
'The women's army is marching'. We all 
left in a jubilant mood, as befitted 
international women's day. I hope that 
it won't be too long before we get to 
hear Peggy Seeger again in Belfast. 


Once again this year, many British and 
international feminists arrived in the north 
to picket Armagh prison on International 
Women's Day, to show their solidarity 
with the protesting prisoners there. 
The preceding day had seen a conference 
on women in Irish society, and their 
relationship to the anti-imperialist struggle. 
Badly planned with very few women from 
Belfast turning up, and many more women- 
up to 400 instead of the expected 80- 
arriving from overseas, the conference was 
disappointing. It was very much a speakers 
to the auditorium affair; no workshops to 
talk and explore ideas in greater depth. 
Maybe that would have been difficult to 
organise for 400 women at such short 
notice, I personally don't think so. Perhaps 
it wouldn't have felt so important if we ' 
hadn't been subjected to a series of state- 
ments about policy from the various groups, 
admittedly some of the more cliched 
coming from British feminists 'belonging to 
a revolutionary movement, blah, blah.,....' 

The best and certainly the most courageous 
speech came from a member of Women 
Against Imperialism. She spoke of how their 
time and energy had been spent on the 
Armagh/H-block issue, to the exclusion of 
the many struggles that feminists in the 
north had been fighting. An exclusion that 
had helped to break up the group and make 
them feel more and more isolated. Sadly this 
speech was not taken up and debated. All 
too often we are presented with the simplis- 
tic idea that the priority is national liberation 
and feminist issues will be sorted out later in 
a united Ireland ( in about six weeks time if 
you need an abortion! ). 

But the reality isn't like that. Imagine for 
example, if you were a single parent for 
whatever reason, death, separation, prison, - 
probably living on social security, maybe 
wanting to get a job, but with well over 
100,000 unemployed in the north, it 
becomes a question ofiluck more than ability, 
experience or qualification. There is no one 
to look after the children anyway because 
there are no full day nurseries. Money is short 
you witheld the rent and rates in the protest at 
internment or got behind with electricity 
payments so the Payment for Debt Act takes 
£11 per week out of your supplementary 

benefit before you even get it We all 

know that the list is endless and not by any 
means restricted to single parent families. 
Women have committed suicide, taken 
alarming doses of Valium, abandoned new 
born babies, shoplifted, or prostituted 
themselves or their daughters under the 
pressure. Feminists have always been the 
first to raise these issues and actively 
campaign, many of us have been through 
the mill and can't ignore them even if it 
does seem impossible to fight them all at 
once, and yet still recognise the importance 
of defeating imperialism. If there is to be 

another conference next year perhaps we 
could talk about these issues. 


When I heard about the new Sinn Fein 
Women's Programme, I thought of the 
amazement generated when feminists 
read their first policy document 'Eire Nua 
- they had simply forgotten half the 
population in their united Ireland, women 

this document is an attempt to 

remedy the situation. 

During the last two years there has been 
increasing support for the protesting 
women prisoners from feminists in Britain 
and abroad. In the light of this it has 
become embarrassing for Sinn Fein not 
to have a programme on women because 
there is a lot of potential and importance 
in such international support. As any 
group though can write up a programme, 
the test will be whether Sinn Fein gives 
active support to the issues they have 

So what is in the document? Well there 
would be divorce, equal oppurtunities 
for women in employment, changes in the 
educational system particularly to 
eliminate sexism, contraception would be 
available within the family , all in all a 
lot of stress has been placed on passing 
laws to make women more equal - laws 
which we know from experience can be 
broken, repealed, ignored or have so 
many loopholes to be useless anyway. 
The main criticism has to be the ' there 
will be no abortion ' clause, 'for this is a 
very Catholic country, and the majority 
of women don't want them anyway'. 
Since when has Sinn Fein recognised 
majorities? Besides which over 5000 
women leave Ireland north and south 
every year to seek abortions in England, 
over 10 years that starts mounting into 
quite a sizeable number the majority of 
whom are Catholic! To ease the situation 
there would be no illegimacy, as if that is 
the only reason women have abortions. 
No law will remove the stigma, and the 
social and economic difficulties of having 
a child on ones own - that is where action 
is needed. The choice whether or not to 
have a child should be the woman's choice 
and hers alone, only she can decide what 
affects her. No woman should have to 
genuflect before any state, any state's 
morality, or any state's religious lies and 
beg for an abortion. Finally, lesbianism 
doesn't get a mention! 

We were told that this was the first step 
towards a programme on women and that 
some Sinn Feiners felt that it didn't go 
far enough. It reads like the sort of list 
that feminists might compile of issues to 
be dealt with in the short term (although 
I doubt if many feminists would accept 
its shortcomings), rather than a picture 
of a society where women are liberated 
and not oppressed. 



The Unity Meetings are open to all 
women and to all women 's groups. 
They take place every month and have 
instigated campaigns such as the 
Debt Campaign, Abortion Campaign, 
Rape Crisis Centre etc etc. 

The Unity Meeting of April 4th was a 
noisy experience. We hope that it was 
not too overwelming for any woman 
who was therefor the first time As we 
tried to make our voices heard above 
the sounds of children playing at our 
feet, we decided that a creche was absol- 
utely essential- how we organise one is to 
be the topic for discussion at our next 

The meeting decided that a women 's 
newsletter for the North would be invalu- 
able in developing contacts and providing 
a forum for communication. The first 
issue- for women only-will be out at 
the beginning of May. 

The main discussion concerned the local 
Government elections- what could the 
women 's movement do to make its 
presence felt? 

A series of questions are being compiled 
and sent out to candidates asking their 
views on childcare, health, equal pay, 
low paid women workers, cuts in the 
social services etc. ...which will also be 
sent out as a press statement. Many 
issues will be raised at this election, 
but it will be the first time that women 
have made it plain what their priorities . 

Next Unity Meeting: 9th May at Ham, 
Women 's Centre, 18 Donegal! Street. 
Deadline for articles for newsletter: 
27th April Send articles to women's 

NOTE: 16th May- International Day of 
Action on Contraception, Abortion, 
Sterilization. Stalls in Cornmarket from 
11am Disco Students Union in the 


A society which is geared towards all 
people's needs, where no one, especially 
children, is underestimated, is not a 
pleasant dream, unobtainable and 
idealistic. To want community nurseries 
community after school day centres, 
nurseries in places of work which are 
controlled by the people who use them, 
is not a luxery that we forego when the 
State wants to crazily balance the books. 
The closure of the creche at the Royal 
will become an important issue during 
the next two weeks and all support should 
be given by feminists to the hospital 
workers in the fight to save their creche. 


If you want a good night out, lookout for 
the film Nine to Five when it comes to 
Belfast. The plot is simple enough - three 
secretaries decide to take revenge on a 
boss who treats them like servants and 
family pets and who is in their own words 
'a sexist, egotistical, hypocritical, and 
stupid bigot'. Having chained him up 
in his own palatial home, they procede 
to run the office for the next six weeks, 
raise productivity, job satisfaction, and 
geneial happiness by putting the workers 
needs first, during which time no one 
misses Mr Hart - the boss. 

The three women involved are Lily Tomlin 
head of the section who had taught Hart 

Hefe got give* ltgt." 

repeatedly when promotions were made 
arid given to men; Jane Fonda a woman 
who has never worked outside the home 
until her husband runs off with his secret- 
ary, and she suddenly finds she needs the 
money; Lastly there is Dolly Parton who 
no one will talk to because they think she 
is having an affair with the boss, while 
in reality she is repeatedly fighting his 
lecherous advances off. 

Having taken enough of Hart's insults and 
demands they team up in an attempt to 
regain their dignity and self-esteem, and 
the result is a very funny film full of 
slapstick, jokes, fantasy scenes, and one 
with a hardedged feminist message. 
The film shows how secretaries are 
exploited by their bosses, being called 
girls by men younger than them, doing 
the bosses shopping in their lunch hour, 
having their ideas poached and never 
being given any credit for them, being 
used as sex objects, and as coffee makers. 

The film points out that most of the work 
done in any office is done by the women 
workers there not by the boss, and that 
doing without him for long periods 
proved no problem at all . 

The three women were not as divorced 
from their sisters in the typing pool, so 
they proceed to instigate a whole 
programme to help the workers - a 
creche , flexible working hours, job 
sharing, individuality, and better pay. 
All works beautifully until the boss 
escapes, but we won't tell you the end- 
ing - suffice to say its a happy one. 

We don't agree with all the sentiments 
expressed in the film, as it is firmly 
rooted in the capitalist way of life and 
no real criticisms are made of that. On 
the other hand though the film does 
show the possibilities when workers do 
things for themselves and work co-oper- 
atively and imaginatively together. And 
its really good to see real women portray 
ed, living real lives on the big screen - 
a must. 


middle seventies the drug was used exper- 
imentally in the poorest and highest 
unemployment areas of Glasgow where it 
was felt that women were unreliable and 
that injectable contraceptives were the 
only guarantee of no ptegnancies partic- 
ulary amongst so called 'problem' families 
Depo Provera has also been used on 
mentally handicapped women and women 
in mental hospitals. It is also used for the 
treatment of menstrual disorder or where 
women have a history of painful periods. 
The CSM recommended that depo provera 
should be used in only two cases-where 
a couple are waiting for vasectomy or 
where a woman has been in contact with 
german measles and should not conceive 
for a certain period. But there is nothing 
to prevent a doctor using a drug in what- 
ever way they choose and it is clear that 
CSM's guidelines are widely disregarded. 
In Northern Ireland the situation is no 
different. Depo Provera is being used here 
Over the last two years Depo Provera 
has been dispensed by the Royal Victoria 
Hospital to women both as a contracept- 
ive and to clear up menstrual problems. 
The RVH is clearly running some sort of 
experiment, it is fully aware of the 
dangers of the drug and the guidelines 
laid down by CSM, yet it has never info- 
rmed any women of its dangers, in fact 
few women have even been told the name 
of the drug they have been injected with. 
In recent months several cases of prescri- 
ption by GP have come to light in Northe 
Northern Irelarid-so the drug is effectiv- 
ely being used on a widescale. 
The medical profession is once again 
treating women as guinea pigs and testing 
drugs without the consent of the women 

If your doctor offers you a wonder 
contraceptive that you get through 
injection as him/her what it is called. 

Remember the following: 

1. Depo Provera has been linked positive- 
ly with both breast and cervical cancer. 

2. It has particular^ upsetting side effects 

3. It may cause infertility. 

4. It has been BANNED in the USA. 
You have the right to refuse to be 
experimented on- USE IT 

...and for those of us trying to get pregnant 

Present studies indicate that the average 
male sperm count is declining at a fast rate 
-in 1923, it was around 100 million sperm 
per cubic centimetre of semen - today it 
is around 50. (20 or below is regarded as 
sub -normal) Why? The decline is linked 
with a dramatic rise in the last 30 years of 
chemicals -in particular pesticides such as 
DDT and agent orange, and in radiation 
levels as more nuclear power stations are 
built. Other causes include sterilising agents 
used in hospitals, regular smoking of 
marijuana and increase in VD levels. Men 
at greatest occupational risk include 

workers in Medicine, Dentistry, smelting 
storage, battery production, chemistry, 
bakeries, glass factories, radar, aviation, 
radiation and X rays. 


Often male impotence is linked to psycho- 
logical problems -stress, anxiety in perfo- 
rmance, general worries, but the following 
have also been given as causes and should 
be considered if the problem arises: 

1. Drugs like tranquilisers, antidepressants 
Taganeitt (for ulcers) excess alchohol, 

heavy smoking of both marijuana and 
tobacco and high doses of Aspirin. 

2. Diabetes, where nerve damage has 

3. Prostrate operations. 

4. Operations on the Colon and virtually 
all abdominal surgery will cause temporan 

-Remember though- Occasional impoten- 
ce is "normal" in all men. 


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Bobby Sands, from Belfast, died on May 
5th, 66 days after beginning a hunger strike 
for political status in Long Kesh prison. 
One week later on the 12th, Francis 
Hughes, from Co, Derry, died after 59 
days. As we go to press, Raymond Mc 
Creesh and Patsy O Hara are reaching a 
very critical stage of their strike. 

The funerals were the biggest ever shows 
of support for the campaign for political 
status with crowds of 75,000 at the first 
and up to 50,000 in Bellaghy. 


Francis Hughes family were harassed and 
insulted by the RUC, who hijacked the 
coffin to avoid areas where crowds had 
gathered to pay their last respects. The 
RUC, incidently, failed to stop the hearse 
from being stoned at Belvoir Park. 

His funeral was prevented from passing 
through Bellaghy village by the RUC, with 
lorry loads of Brits backing them up. The 
Belfast buses, returning home, were stoned 
in Portglenone by Loyalists, and several 
people injured. The only action the RUC 
took was to fire plastic bullets at those 
who left the buses to drive off the stone 


The deaths resulted in days of sustained 
rioting. But for several reasons these have 
not had the affect of the 'general level of 
lawlessness' which froced the British to 
grant political status in the early 70s. 

From 69 onwards there was a massive 
shift in the population due to sectarian 
attacks. People were froced to abandon 
their homes and now live in well defined 

The security forces are content at present 
to contain the violence 'to an acceptable lev 
el' and within the ghettoes. They are happy 
to let property and cars be burnt within 
the areas. There is little commercial or 
industrial property left to worry about 
protecting anymore. 

On the 21st May, both Raymond Mc 
Creesh and Patsy 0'Hara died on their 
60th day of hunger strike. Brendan Mc 
Laughlin, after only 6 days into his strike 
was taken to a Belfast hospital with a 
burst ulcer. He refuses medical treatment 


No Go areas may have been possible in the 
early 70s when the Brits didn't quite know 
how to react to a situation where hundreds 
of people were behind the barricades. But 
any attempt to erect barricades now, res- 
ults in armoured saracens periodically 
crashing through them and later removing 
them permanently with armoured bulldoz- 
ers and cranes. 

An exception seems to be the Divis flats 
complex which kept the Brits and RUC 
out for several days. The unusal geography 
and sense of community were mainly res- 


The nature of rioting has changed over the 
last few years. Most people feel hesitant 
and afraid about getting involved when 
live rounds are periodically used by the 
Brits and RUC. 

Though petrol bombers can 'legitimately' 
be shot with lead, recently plastic bullets 
are used. These can be just as lethal and 
have already resulted in several deaths. 
Their use has the advantage of not bother- 
ing the liberal conscience and not stirring 
UP too much media attention as a result of 
possibly dozens being killed. 


A local demonstration in the Lower Orm- 
eau area after Bobby Sands death resulted 
in the RUC firing plastic bullets into the 
crowd of children, men and women who 
were peacefully protesting. Not because 
the RUC feel threatened but just to give 
people a taste of things to come if they 
step out of line. This tactic frightened 
some from picketing the next day. 


But even in this small area of about 7 
streets they are forced to deploy large 
numbers of RUC and set up base in a 
cricket ground in the centre of the comm- 
unity to keep a continuous eye on things. 
However the youth of the area bravely 
resisted the RUC for several nights of 
running battles. oont onp.4 

It's not news to be saying that the work- 
ing people of Ireland, North and South 
are more and more dependant on big firms 
— multinationals — whose one over-riding 
purpose is to make as much profit as poss- 
ible for the few big shareholders, pay as 
low wages as possible, think as little as 
possible about the nature of the work, and 
care as little as possible about the pollut 
ion of all living creatures and their enviro 
ment. A depressing scene without a doubt. 
And the more we examine these multinat- 
ional corporations, the more we see their 
local, national and international connect- 
ions, the more we realise just how much 
they rule over and control our lives, our 
habits and our thinking. But likewise, the 
more we realise we're being messed about, 
the more we'll react against it — because 
we'll have to! 

Rio Tinto Zinc (RTZ) is one such corpor- 
ation operating in Ireland. They are expl- 
oring for and mining minerals the world 
over, from Africa to Australia, from 
Europe to America. They've been looking 
for uranium in Donegal since 1976, and 
have just recently been granted an explor- 
ation license by the N. Ireland Office (Min. 
of Commerce) to look for minerals - 
including uranium - in the Sperrins area 
of Tyrone. area stretching from Strab- 
ane to Draperstown. Sounds like a few 
extra jobs in these times of recession, but 
jobs we could well do without! 
RTZ are notorious for their treatment of 
people and the enviroment — anything 
that could hinder their work in extracting 
minerals and selling them is obliterated, 
no matter what our need, no matter what 
purpose. They've been operating illegally 
in 'SW Africa' (Namibia) for years, extract- 
ing uranium from huge tracts of land.... 
paying starvation wages and uprooting 
communities, spreading radioactivity, to 
get at the uranium... essential for the 
nuclear war economy of many European 
countries, and in particular, Britain. Irresp- 
ective of protest ignoring a United Natio- 
ns ban on their activities, the company 
press ahead (aided by all the Western govts 
who buy the uranium and not surprisin- 
gly, Fianna Fail consistently vote in fav- 
our of the big 5 [GB, France, USA, Japan, 
\ and Germany] at the UN, against any 
L move to halt RTZ operations). The most 
i unscrupulous, corrupt, power-tripping, 
' callous bunch of directors that exists. (It 
I can come as no surprise that leading perso- 
: nalities from all of the big British political 
I parties are on the RTZ board of directors, 


I never used to think about what I ate- 
just shovelled It In. At various times in 
my life ive given up meat or sweets, cut 
down on my food, tried new recipes etc. 
but never really sorted my ideas and 
habits out It is, after all, something we 
spend a lot of time and effort doing 
(cooking and eating). There seems to be 
various ways of looking at it 

W hat we eat, just like everything else in 
this society, is controlled, manipulated 
and conditioned into us. I grew (was 
dragged?) up with cornflakes, meat (if 
lucky) and 2 (often tinned veg r Mars 
Bars, Mothers Pride and chocolate, coca- 
cola etc. That's mostly junk. 

Tut thafs what the advertisments are 
pushing and what's available in the 
shops. Never mind if it rots your teeth, 
fills you full of chemicals, kills animals 
or exploits workers (especially in the 
third world) - The point is, does it 
make profits? 

In the last few decades, agribuisness has 
taken control of most of the production, 
distribution and marketing of food, 
which is now reduced to a packaged, 
often synthetic sales item like everything 

Hence we get food surplus' destroyed in 
order to keep prices artificially up, EEC 
laws preventing the sales of all except a 
limited range of seeds and vegetables, 
much of the worlds grain consumed by 
cattle, and sold for mostly US consump- 
tion, while hundreds of millions starve 
in the third world, producing luxery 
items for the West (Banannas, tea, pea- 
nuts, sugar, tobacco etc.). It means the 
use of poisionous chemicals (fertilisers 
etc.) for mass production. 

It means the decentralised fabric of loc- 
ally grown and distributed organic food 
is supressed, or disintegrates, unable to 
compete with agribuisness. In this way, 
the vast majority of us have become 
alienated from the land, our food and 
our lives - Trapped like rats in cages, 
dependant on capitalism for all our basic 
needs. In fact, the system now tells us 
what our needs should be, and we (esp- 
ecially youngsters) have forgotten the 
alternatives to this hamburger mentality. 

Understanding and opposing agribuisness 
is a political task for all of us, as it que- 
stions the organisation of society. 


We also need to understand ecology, that 
is, harmony with nature. Our city envir- 
oment is synthetic and it dwarfs us so 
that we are afraid to rebel. At the same 
time, work is useless, alienating and deg- 
rading - we are just cogs running to the 
rhythm of a machine. 

This society is based on the exploitation 
and destruction of nature, which goes 
side by side with the systems control of 
us. To question one is to question the 
other. If we aim to create a free and 
responsible society then we have to crea- 
te new relationships based on respect, 
solidarity and mutual aid not only amo- 
ungst ourselves, but with animals and 
the land. Decentralised, ecological collect' 
ives, villiages on a 'human' scale would 
be desirable, with as much local self-suff- 
iency as possible. 

We have to decide for ourselves what is 
right and wrong. It is right to share, to 
be free and to fight against all forms of 
oppression. It is wrong to oppress or 
exploit others 

Is it wrong to eat meat? To exploit (im- 
prison in factory farms) and kill animals: 
I've been asking myself this, and i'm 
now eating almost no meat at all. If 
you can get good vegetables and can 
learn to cook a bit, you don't miss it - 
In fact you positively can't stand it. 
Of course I have to ask "what about 

animal products and clothing (leather 

for example)?" Also, experiments on 
animals? The Animal Liberation Front 
(ALF), a clandestine, decentralised net- 
work of groups in England, have been 
waging a guerilla war against vivisection 
laboratories and also freeing thousands 
of animals, trapped and terrorised in 
them. Lately they have been attacking 
fur-trading shops. 

To try to answer ethical questions of 
right and wrong, I have to follow my 
instincts and draw conclusions from my 
understanding of this repressive society 
and possible alternatives. 


What we eat of course affects our heal- 
th. It can't be good for our bodies and 
minds if we eat crap. Tasty, balanced 
non-synthetic food - vegetables, grains, 
herbs and spices, salad and fruit and 
decent bread and drinks etc, seems to 
be what we need. Ok, we can survive 
(can we - and for how long?) with 
poor quality and poisoned food, but 
can we live? And after all, it's enjoyab- 

So, to cut a long story short, i'm trying 
to work out, as are more and more 
people, my ideas which relate to food. 
All aspects of our lives are related, and 
whilst we must confront and change as 
far as possible our conditioning, at the 
same time we have to confront and 
change together, through social revolut- 
ion, the present system. 

To discuss and to spread these ideas, 
and to act against the institutions of 
control, people must create in every loc- 
ality and workplace, a movement - A 
network of independant groups. This is 
the responsibility of all those who are 
sincere in their desire to improve their 

As we seize control of our enviroment 
and get rid of money and bosses of all 
kinds, we create a new, free society - 
Anarchist, ecological and communistic. 

In the last week of April, a delegation of ' 
assorted reactionaries visited the Health 
Minister, Patten, demanding that the abort 
ion legislation in Britain should not be 
extended here. They were told what they 
wanted to hear. 

The strange bedfellows included the Catho 
lie Bishop Philbin (life long celebate), 
Presbyterian moderator Girvan (another 
religious nut), Robert Bradford (advocate 
of British citizenship, but not British law), 
and Gerry Fitt (well known Socialist).AIso 
amoung the delegation were members of 
the anti-abortion organisation, LIFE - Dr. 
Nuala McAllenan, Dr. Robin Taylor, and 
Mrs. Jean Garland. 

It is no coincidence that most of the dele- 
gation were men, and all of them religious. 
None of them have answered the demand 
that each woman has the right to control 
her own body, and she herself should 
decide wether or not to have an abortion. 
To have that control, and that choice, 
abortion facilities must be available. 
At the moment these facilities are not avail 
able, and LIFE itself estimates that 2000 
women travel to England each year for 
abortions - The Northern Ireland Abort- 
ion Campaign Group put the figure higher, 
at 5000, and go on to point out that even 
if the '67 Abortion act was extended to 
N.I, it would be inadequate. The act gives 
each Area Health Authority a lot of discrer 
tion in the avoidance of providing abortion 
facilities, and many parts of England are 
without any facilties whatsoever. The com- 
bined influences of the Protestant and 
Catholic Churches, the religious bias of the 
political parties, and the deep rooted syst- 
em of sexism would render the act ineffect 
ive here. 

The delegations attitude to women is best 
summed up by Bradford, 'We decided to 
visit the minister because of our deep 
concern about the increasing pressure from 
womens' rights groups for the liberalisation 
of abortion laws here'.' 

ro hmtihuAr 

Perhaps some English readers of "Outta 
Control" might be interested in taking a 
look at a little spot in Gloucester, at 
Chedsworth. Just outside the villiage, 
there's a wood, and hidden within it and 
sunk deep in the ground, is a secret bunk- 
er, no doubt complete with royal splend 

Because this is where the "royals" have 
their nuclear-war bunker, sunk into the 
well drained oolitic limestone of the area. 
Charles and Diana will soon have a house 
nearby, Anne and horse have a holiday 
home there.. ..The Duke of Beaufort and 
The Queen Mother.. name but a few, 
also have country residences in the vacim 
ity. Sounds incredible, but unfort- 

unately it's ALL TRUE! 






IS a 






The charge of "criminal" was the conclusion of 
Michael O' Riordan of the Communist Party, speak- 
ing at a day long seminar, "The Spanish Civil WarJ' 
organised a week ago by the Workers' Education 

As one of the guest speakers his topic consisted of a litany 
(read from his book, "The Connolly Column") of the group 
of 150 men who went to Spain in '36 to fight for the govern- 
ment forces against a military rebellion which had the back- 
ing of the Catholic Church. 

The seminar began with the showing of an RTE programme 
on the Irish who went to Spain. Not only did 150 Republic- 
ans and Communists make the journey (60 of them dying in 
battle), but 150 "good Catholics" went off under General 
0' Duffy to help the fascists. This latter group ignaminously 
returned after a mistaken skirmish with their own side! 
This video was followed by a talk from Joe McMinn on the 
various novels which took the Spain of that period as their 

In the afternoon session, Mick Cox suggested that the Span- 
ish war was determined by the super-powers of the day - 
™ Germany and Italy on one side and the Communist 
USSR on the other, with the "democracies" of France and 
Britain playing an obstructive role. Because of the USSR's 
role of wooing these governments into an alliance against 
Nazi Germany, they felt it necessary to contain any revolut- 
ionary upheaval in Spain which would threaten the bourgeo- 
ise of these countries. 

After the lectures a discussion began which led to the slander 
usually propagated about the Spanish working-class, and 
especially the Anarchists, by the Communist Party. 
The rebellion, which was sparked off by the Generals' rebell- 
ion and the faltering of the Republican government led to 
one of the largest scale examples of workers' control in 
history. Factories, transport, bakeries, health services and 
security patrols were taken over by members of the largest 
workers organisation - The CNT (Anarcho-Syndicalist), and 
the UGT (Socalist). Similarly, the peasants collectivised the 
large estates of absentee landlords and produced food from 
previously fallow land, with modern equipment which was 
too expensive for individual farmers. Women organised in a 
way which took them nearer emancipation in all areas - soc- 
ial, sexual and economic, than in any other socialist revolut- 

However, this was all branded as being "criminal" by O'Rior- 
dan. In fact the accusations he made conjured up a strange 

spectacle - That the 1'5 million CNT'ers were "petty-bourg- 
eois" and "individualistic"; Proof of this individualism was 
that they wouldn't march in step! 

Further allegations were that they avoided fighting the fasc- 
ists; stayed at home and played with workers control; stabb- 
ed the government in the back during the May Days of '37, 
and finally handed over Barcelona to the Fascists without ' 
firing a shot. The CP see the best form of defence as attack, 
and their role during the war/revolution has brought them 
much criticism - everything from starving the fronts of 
weapons to assassination of opponents at the rear. 
These are dealt with amply elsewhere, so this space will reply 
just to O' Riordan's accusations. As for the May Days, the 
UGT and CNT workers in the Barcelona Telephone Exchan- 
ge had taken it over soon after the revolution. The governme- 
nt (a coalition of reformist parties and leaders, including the 
Communist Party) sent the assault guards from Valencia to 
kick them out. When word of the attack spread, barricades 
were erected in the workers district, with CNT and POUM 
(Trotskyist) militants to the forefront. Hundreds of workers 
lost their lives in the ensuing battle, before those who had 
established themselves in a position of power (in the UGT) 
and of influence (in the CNT) sold them out. 

If the Anarchists stayed at home, who defeated the military 
uprisings in Spains three most important centres - Barcelon- 
ia, Valencia and Madrid? Most of the Anarchists joined 
Malitias and fought in many fronts, but these were later 
absorbed into the hierarchial government army. 
The most famous example of the Malitias was one of 3000 
CNT'ers formed into the Durrutti Column, which marched 
to Zaragossa, helping out struggles on the way. But they got 
bogged down on the Aragon front as Zaragossa was taken 
before they got there, and was heavily fortified. 
The column next went to Madrid, where it fought with the 
International Brigades and the local population in the unsuc- 
cessful attempts at resisting the encircling fascist troops. In 
fact Durrutti himself was killed here. 

As for Barcelona being handed over, the surrender was given 
because of the hopelessness of sacrificing any more lives, and 
the resultant wave of revenge and repression which was expe- 
cted from the fascist forces. 

Other documents cover the role of the Communist Party, 
such as "Homage to Catalonia," by George Orwell, and "The 
Spanish Labyrinth;' by Gerald Brenan. But maybe O'Riord- 
an would like to say who assassinated Camillo Berneri, the 
well known Italian anti-fascist, and Andres Hui, the POUM 


Dear friends, 

You may be interested to know of a little 
action in my old hotel (prison). Five 
provos went up to tie roof at Long Lartin 
(4/5/81) and stayed there for seven days 
as a protest about Bobby Sands. Also an- 
other prisoner (who I didn't know, but I 
don't think he's Irish) was reported in the 
local paper as being on hunger-strike for 
two weeks, demanding equal remission 
rights for English prisoners with those in 
prisons in the six coun ties. His name is 
Michael Birch. Getting half remission 
brought in over here (you only get one 
third in England) and the other 'priviledg- 
es' (like food parcels) that exist over your 
way would actually be the biggest thing 
in prison reform since they got rid of 
the treadmill . . . it would mean also, that 
a large number of the Republican prison- 
ers in English nicks would be OUT. 
Stay on your toes, P. 
The 'priviledges' exist here for 2 reasons - 
one is to try and buy off the prison 
protests, and the other is to counter- 
balance the Emergency legislation of no 
juries, etc. 

Fire-bombs chased by their own lum- 
inous tails out of the dark of Divis Flats. 
A few ould fellows,aged about 35, warm- 
ing themselves by the burning Ford 
EscortStones banging down the lids on 
the RUC jeeps. Brits sneaking plastic 
bullets into peoples faces. 
Images not lost on the stroboscopic 
flash-guns or the infra-red filters. Images 
caught for Sunday breakfast supplements, 
liberally sprinkled with Brittle toastor 
for the sterile waiting-room of Comrade 
Dentist in the sleek suburbs. 
Two photo-journalists trying to snap the 
same image on the same spotTwo onto 

one brick won't go. No queue. I was here 
first!No,l was.'Shit! Geroff IPush a shove. 
Shove a push. All fall down.Stand up and 
fight! Fisti-bang-bang.Two photo-journ- 
alists bashing the light cells outta one 
another's brains. 

A cafuffle not lost on the honest-to- 
goodness rioters. CeasefiringlMaybe pick 
up a pointer or two. The young persons 
gather round in a circle.The first daft 
birds of dawn begin is not 
often a body is treated to an inter-cont- 
inental war on a body's waste ground. 
Up the ante! 

cont. from front page 

While thousands turned out for Bobby 
Sands funeral, the problem still remains 
how can this passive support become 

There still is a gap between the milutants 
(the left and relations of the prisoners) 
and the community. Too rarely the hung- 
er strike meetings are not advertised enough 
and communication from the committees 
tend to be very poorly produced on both 
a technical and information level. 

Some of the problems which arise from a 
community under pressure need to be 
faced up to — sectarianism, destruction 
within the community, arrests and death. 
Although many of these maybe uncom- 
fortable to deal with, it has to be done 
to retain the support of the community. 

The campaign should not be narrowly 
seen as a case of the prisoners getting 
their demands, but also whether a comm- 
unity can act together, in cooperation, 
and work towards the longterm welfare of 
that community which takes up issues of 
the RUC, housing, city hall, and indeed 
the very existance of the sectarian state. 

More British troops ahve been sent to the 
north to reinforce the UDR and RUC. 
They have not been brought in to deal 
with the 'wave of terrorism', as we are 
often led to believe, but in the repression 
of the thousands of people who would 
otherwise have swept aside years ago the 
sectarian state. 

The RUC, UDR, and SAS units could 
probably contain the armed struggle, but 
it would always take thousands of troops 
to deal with an insurgent population. 
They cloak themselves under the guise of 

With a pattern emerging of riots erupting 
after each death, and isolated bomb and 
gun attacks, there is very little room to 
manouvre with such a concentration of 
police and army. 

On the day of Bobby Sands funeral a new 
consciousness seemed to be taking hold as 
many towns along the border counties 
closed down completley. 
And on the night of Francis Hughes death 
a crowd of 2000 clashed for a short time 
with the Garda outside the British emba- 
ssy. The followin night, petrol bombs were 
thrown in O'Connell St. 

As tension grows in the north and while 
more people attend the marches and fun- 
erals and more hurl a brick or a petrol 
bomb, it is in the south that the enormous 
potential lies (both in industrial and civil 
disorder) to change the stand of the Brit- 
ish government. 


Community politics academic, Tom 
Lovett (we're all in the same boat, chaps) 
has received a generous £7 5,000 grant 
from the rightwing Portuguese Gulbenkiar. 
Foundation which has been responsible 
for funding many counter-insurgent act- 
ivities. He is setting up the 'Ulster Peoples 
College (Ulster as in the 6 counties). They 
will concentrate on providing the historic- 
al justification for the 2 nations theory 
and provide the ideological foundations 
and lend support to the UDA's independ- 
ent Ulster idea^again minus 3 counties). 


At the last National Conference, called 
in an emergency 2 weeks ago, many 
issues arose which revealed the different 
tendencies within the movement. 
The national committee began two years 
ago with a campaign to mobilize thousands 
onto marches and build political support 
by putting pressure on the parties north 
and south. All this was to win the 5 dem- 
ands, and avoid an almost inevitable hung- 
er strike. 

But the strike began and so far 2 prisoners 
have died. The terms of reference have 
changed, but the committee still talk, print 
and encourage 'more mobilization, more 
pressure on the SDLP and Fianna Fail', etc. 
This despite the fact that marches alone 
are not enough, and there are no other 
suggestions as to what can be done after 
all this mobilization. Also pressure on the 
professional politicains can only result in 
them using the issue to their own political 

The national committee ( made up of 
Sinn Fein, P.D., and notable public figures) 
seem as remote from the local committee 
feelings as ever. They disown many of the 
riots, and in Dublin called off a march on 
the day of Francis Hughes frneral. Two 
days earlier a group of demonstrators 
broke away from the main march and des- 
troyed up-market shop windows in Graftor 
St. The H-Block committee again 'disown- 
ed' this and cancelled the next march as a 
sign of goodwill on their part; to whom - 
the capitalists and bosses of Dublin?! 


When faced with crisis the media throws 
aside its carefully disguised 'balance of 
unbiased viewpoints' and shows its true 
colours (red, white and true blue). It 
ultimately reflects the interests of its own- 
ers, who want ot retain their priviledged 

In the north they publish 'black' propag- 
anda, such as saying it was the IRA who 
shot the Ardoyne butcher, Martin, for not 
closing his shops after Francis Hughes 
funeral. The truth later came out that he 
had closed his shops and it incresingly 
looks like a sectarian murder. 

There was also the example of claiming 
that Raymond Mc Creesh had asked for 
food, while in fact he had been deliberate- 
ly confused by the medical staff. 

The media also put out grey propaganda 
(half truths that cannot be substatiated) 
such as Chris Ryder's report in the Sunday 
Times (Slimes). 

Instead of 14 year old Julie Livingstone 
being clearly murdered by a plastic bullet 
fired by the Brits, he suggests that 'other 
possible causes were put froward by 
some surgeons'. 

Politicians can rest easy in their daily har- 
assment of people, followin the statement 
made by Edgar Graham of the Law Dept. 
Queens University. Following the death of 
Bobby Sands he said, 'Anyone who has 
been convicted of a terrorist offence is 
eligable for election to the House of Com- 
mons' . . . Presumably, if legislation is 
changed, quite a few MPs will have to for- 
feit their seats - Whitelaw, Joseph, Atkins 
Thatcher, Mason 

cont. from front page 

The Queen of England, through fiddling 
share deals, remains one of the biggest 
share holders, despite her claims to the 
contrary). Many of the British Universities 
hold shares (particulary the various college 
es of the no. 1 British establishment Univ- 
ersity, Cambridge), as do banks (and in 
particular the Bank of Ireland), many 
clergy men and local governments. The 
Ministry of Finance at Stormont holds 
6,000 shares and the Trustees of the Pres- 
byterian Church in Ireland - 4,500shares. 
These are the sort of people backing RTZ. 
backing a way of life that puts people and 
their needs bottom of the list of priorities. 
The one ray of hope is that more and 
more people the world over are waking up 
to companies like RTZ... The 'Week of 
Action' against RTZ has links from 
America to Europe to Australia... a truly 
amazing display of solidarity. One "week 
of action won't stop RTZ - our whole 
life style will have to change to do away 
with all the RTZ's of this world - but it's 
a hopeful beginning. RTZ ARE ON THE 

Just as expected the British government 
has 'decided' to have no independent 
authority to protect us against the misuse 
of information held in government and 
commercial computers. It rejected all 
recommendations and now plans to sign 
a Council of Europe convention on data 
protection with the clever lie that the 
government itself will be the 'authority 
as to how the information is used' the 
decision was taken by that well known 
friend of the people, Willie Whitelaw op- 
erating from the Home Office. It is they 
who manage the national security industry 
exactly the same crowd who have millions 
of files on computer. The Home Office 
is our protection against the Home Office 
Is it any wonder that so few people DID 
fill in their census forms? The government 
is so little trusted that even the RUC were 
reluctant to fill it in! And thousands were 
burned on the streets or in private. 
Government snooping is not appreciated. 
But its hard to stop it-theres many more 
ways than through a census. Take the 
British Army computer, housed in Lisburn. 
It was set up in 1974, supposedly contain- 
ing information only for the use of Army 
"intelligence" (sic), to moniter cars cross- 
ing the border. From such humble beginni- 
ngs, ( and even then, Merlyn Rees denied 
it's very existance!) it has come to get 65% 
of the people recorded.. ..and in what detail 
we can but guess. It works by registering 
our name and date of birth or address, or 
car number, or information extracted when 
passing through a border check point.. ..It 
reads out a pre-conditioned response. 
"pick them up and take them in. Too bad! 
The British state is now anxious to increase 
such cover to passports, starting with the 
EEC passport we'll all need for travel by 


Aprrt 16th. saw the ending of the 
German hunger strike after 66 days 
with the death of Sigurd Debus. It 
looks like the state has given in to 
the demands of some of the prison- 
ers. The West German justice minist- 
er assured Amnesty International 
that none of the prisoners will be 
kept any longer in conditions of 
isolation but will be put together in 
several small groupings. 

This latest hunger strike did not take 
place solely in German prisons, there were 
also three prisoners on hunger strike in 
Switzerland and Austria. The Red Army 
Fraction (RAF), 2nd. June Movement and 
some social prisoners had also gone on 
hunger strike around the same time with 
different demands, although each group 
declared solidarity with each other. Info- 
rmation on how the hunger strikes have 
developed is difficult to get since the 
media and state have had a near or total 
dampdown on such information. 


All prisoners from militant backgrounds 
have been recognised as political or special 
prisoners in the way that the prison 
regimes have dealt with them. Over the 
past 4—5 years, the prisoners have been 
systematically isolated in special wings; 
alone, or in two's, making contact with 
other prisoners impossible. 

Within this type of isolation the prisoners 
are being constantly watched by TV cam- 
eras, listened to by microphones, visits 
numbering one a month take place behind 
glass walls and are watchedo by prison 
officials, specialists of the criminal investig-jj 
ation bureau and psychologists. After each 
and every visit the prisoners have to undress 
and are subjected to body searches. The 
wings which they are kept in are sound 
proof as are the cells. All lighting is artific- 
ial and all walls are painted white. There is 
a 23 hour lock-up, although some are on 
24-hours. These conditions amount to 
nothing less than brain washing and go a 
long way towards destroying health and 


The prisoners stated "In this situation, 
after having been isolated from each other, 
cut off from every political process and de\ - j 
elopment and from the outside world, we 
are determined to make this seperation 
come to an end by using the one effective 
means that we have: the collective hunger- 
strike, in order to be able to survive as 
human beings and to get conditions necess- 
ary for a collective process of learning and 


Their demands on the state were "associat- 
ion in groups, no high security wings, the 
abolition of all forms of isolation and the 
release of two prisoners;' one suffering 
from open tuberculosis and another suffer- 
ing from severe brain damage as a result of 
a head wound recieved when they were 
first arrested. 

"Scientifically Perfected repression" 

As the nunger strike progressed, the prison 
ers were eventually force fed and surprisin- 
gly some doctors who were there to admin- 
ister the feeding saw this as an attack on 
the prisoners. "Force feeding is not a 
medical solution^ but a method of force 
used to break peoples' resistance. In this 
situation, force feeding must be regarded 
as a direct attack on the lives of the prison- 

Many of the prisoners were moved around 
between different prisons in an attempt to 
isolate them even further. Prisoners were 
hand-cuffed and tied down while force 
feeding was carried out. Some prisoners 
nearly suffocated, others had blood in 
their urine. 

This type of scientifically perfected repres- 
sion extended even into the death of 
Sigurd Debus. After being force fed in an 
attempt to break his resolve, Sigurd was 
placed on a life support machine, so that 
the authorities had final control over the 
moment of his death. Although his heart 
had stopped beating, he was kept "legally 
alive" for a further week until the machine 
was switched off. 


News of his death brought riots and demo- 
nstrations to the streets of Berlin and the 
city was the scene of spontaneous attacks 
on shops and government buildings. In 
Frankfurt, a shopping centre was burned 
out, while in Dusseldorf, a car park was 
attacked and many cars were burned out. 
Churches were occupied in protest in sever- 
al towns throughout West Germany, and 
in Hamburg a bomb wrecked the the depa- 
rtment of the University where research 
into isolation torture for use in West Euro- 
pes prisons was being carried out. 


Since May 1980, when Amnesty Intemat- 
ionaLproduced it's report on conditions 
for politically motivated prisoners in West 
Germany, the West G erman government 
has been pressurised by AI to discontinue 
special programmes of isolation. A possible 
outcome of the W.German governments 
deliberations might be the ending of 'total' 
isolation for a number of the prisoners,and 
the increased use of small group isolation. 
The West German state, however, has given 
no guarantees whatsoever, and the situati 
on is further complicated by the division 
into federal states, with individual respons- 
ibility for the implementation of prison 
conditions. While in Berlin, Schleswig, 
Holstein, Stuttgart, Nordrihein-Westfalen 
authorities have already indicated that 
they are ready to consider 'concessions'— 
Dusseldorf and Rhienland Pfalz have so 
far refused to respond to protests. 

Unfortunately, only time will tell wether 
the hunger strike has been successful or 
not — one major point worth noting is the 
extent to which the state and the media 
worked hand in hand. There was near total 
repression of any news. One local paper 
(about the equivalent of the Belfast Tele- 
graph) carried only a small paragraph a few 
days before the death of Sigurd Debus and 
paradoxically had a half page news item 
on the Bobby Sands hunger strike, which 
was at a relatively early stage. The only 
time that the media gave any mentionable 
coverage was when the hunger strike had 
ended and the riots erupted, Then the 
headlines read "Smash the new Terrorists.!! 

It has become apparent that Sigurd Debus 
(a social prisioner ) did not die on hunger 
strike but due to massive brain cerebrage 
(bleeding in the brain ) due to intravenous 


Since 1976 the German government has 
been forced through massive resistance 
from the population, and a courtcase, to 
stop all the building at the nuclear power 
plant, Brokdorf. On Dec. 1st 1980, howev' 
er, the court and the government decided 
to go ahead with the building. On the 21st 
December a rally was held at the site, 
where approximately 10,000 anti-nuclear 
demonstraters turned up. It was a peaceful 
protest, and there wasn't any kind of 
direct action. After the protest some short 
actions .against institutions of the nuclear 
industry took place. On the 2nd. Feb,the 
SPD (Social Democratic Party) at Hambu- 
rg held a special meeting about Brokdorf, 
and four days later gave the final go-ahead 
for the building. From then on, Anti-Nuc 
lear groups prepared for a demonstration 
to be held on the 28th. of Feburary 
against the building. Preparations for it 
started all over Germany. There was a lot 
of work to be done, like organising trans- 
port facilities and printing leaflets and 
posters (co-ordination between all groups 
was made at some national meeting near 
Brokdorf, where the demands and aims 
were worked out: 


power in Brokdorf and 

Stop nuclear energy in nuclear stations 
and weapons plants. 

HEW (Hamburg Electricity Works) to stop 
their work for Brokdorf. 

Release of all imprisioned anti-nuclear 
demonstrators & dropping of all charges. 

Nearer the time of the demonstration,the 
state began to prepare it's counteraction, 
and as usual, the media, press, government 
& security forces worked close together to 
'protect law & order. They banned any 
demonstrations from the 28th. Feburary 
to the 1st. March in Wilster Marsch ( the 
area around Brokdorf), Stoltenberg. The 
Christian Democrats spread horror news 
in the papers and'Bilo Am Sonntag' 
(Springerpress [nortorious right-wing 
paper owner] sensation paper) carried 
headlines like "Brokdorf: Bombs, fires, 
hostages, Anti-Nuclear protesters to burn 
down farms and take farmers as hostages!' 
This is only one example out of numerous 

accusations. They painted pictures of the 
anti-nuclear people as violent murderous 
gangs, so that the police can get away with 
their beatings of people as an act of defen- 

Days before the demonstration, the police 
started to prepare the area for the arriving 
masses, they destroyed parts of the ice 
which the area was covered in and took 
away roadsigns. Trains and bus services 
were told not to transport demonstrators. 
From the 27th Feb to March the 1st, 
demonstrators from Holland and Denmark 
were stopped from entering Germany. 
Friday night before the demonstration, 
people were faced with transport problems 
and long waits for lifts. A lot of people 
didn't get lifts and had to stay behind. 
Once they were on the road they were 
stopped at roadblocks by the police, who 
asked for I.D, took sticks, poles and helm- 
ets and basically tried to hassle people as 
much as possible. Finally, buses arrived in 
Wilster, and there was a lot of confusion 
whioh made co-ordination impossible. 
'Cause the police were blocking the roads 
behind Wilster, vehicles had to park there 
and everybody had to walk, and it was still' 
another 15km to Brokdorf. 

On Saturday morning, Jo Leinen, one of 
the leaders of the BBU (central committee, 
friends of the earth type) managed through 
tactical arrangements to direct the 
march right to where a barricade of 
police sandbags was. Jo Leinen made a lot 
of demonstraters believe that this was the 
only way through to the site. The way to 
pass the police lines was to give personal 
information to the police and to get body 
searched. He stressed that 'peaceful demon 
strators don't need to hide anything! The 
aim of being 'friends with the police' was 
to keep the demonstration 'democratic and 
peaceful! During all this, some people 
split and actually managed to get right to 
the broad waterditch in front of the fence. 
There was no way that they could use the 
ropes to get over the fence, cause the 
police were very quick and managed to 
force people back with teargas and water- 
cannons, they chased demonstrators 
around the fields and beat them up with 
their sticks. Because of the broken ice. 

'many people got stuck in the ice and had 
to give up, how many people were hurt is 
not known. As this was going on the rest 
of the marchers finished their demonstrat- 
ion and passively walked back, leaving the 
rest without any solidarity or help. 65 
were arrested and were charged with 
"violation of public peace" and "assault!' 

After the demonstration was over, the 
media showed how peaceful it was. There 
was no mention of the violence the police 
used against demonstrators. 

It was great to see how the demonstration 
attracted such a big crowd ( over 80,000). 
It is good to have such big demonstrations 
at the sites every so often,simply to show 
the govt, that there are a lot of people 
opposing their nuclear plans. The problems 
at such large demonstrations are: 

1. That the police are able to organise such 
a concentrated & powerful armed force, 
hard to overcome. 

2. That it is difficult to find solidarity with 
all the people & the resistance is therefore 
reduced to individual acts (as a result, 
these are usually the most effective). The 
lack of solidarity with people who got 
chased and beaten up by the police at the 
demonstration was obvious. 

One big demonstration is not enough, and 
not the only way for people to resist. 
There are other ways such as opposing 
atomic power in the cities, where the fund- 
emental plans are made. Lots of different 
actions would integrate the fight into an 
everyday struggle against the state. There is 
a split in the anti-nuclear movement - 
there are the middle class "protecters of 
the earth" by all their means pacifist, they 
build the integrated type of resistance the 
state can afford. On the other side are 
those who have come to the conclusion 
that that the state is responsible for 
nuclear power, and to get rid of nuclear 
power you have to get rid of the state.... 

Another good development 
would be the coming together of the auto- 
nomous anti-nuclear groups with other 
autonomous movements like the squatters, 
military service resisters etc... as an act of 
solidarity so as not to be isolated by the 




77?e r/'^/jf fo vote, or equal civil rights, may be good 
demands, but true emancipation begins neither at the 
polls, nor in courts. It begins in woman's soul. History 
tells us that every oppressed class gained true liberation 
from its masters through its own efforts. It is necessary 
that woman learn that lesson, that she realise that her 
freedom will reach as far as her power to achieve her 
freedom reaches. EMMA GOLDMAN 1911 


091 0. 


ition for beginners 
his yeaAMay-day march - that one day a 
year wheYi workers are actually 'allowed' to 
take to the streets, 'guarded' by the RUC, 
once again proved the point that as far as 
worker solidarity goes, don't depend too 
much on it in Northern Ireland. 
The march began with the usual speeches 
and also the usual confrontation with the 
RUC. Before the speeches were half over 
the police in their usual manner 'blunt and 
to the ooint' had lifted 7 people. You 
would have been forgiven for thinking 
that these people were all armed with 
armalites, had you seen the way they were 
dealt with. In fact all they were doing 
was giving out leaflets about H-block and 
Bobby Sands - to the RUC, thats enough 
so bent were they on not letting any 
mention of Sands or the blocks sully the 
peace of a Saturday morning in the city 
centre of Belfast. 

Well then how did the trade union move- 
ment, those champions of democratic 
rights react to this denial of those same 
rights? They went on with the march - 
although several stewards did try to inter- 
vene, the leadership and the broad mass of 
the march just didn't want to know. 
On went the march along Royal Avenue 
and around the city hall, the scene of the 
next incident. At this point one of the 
wily H-block supporters determined to 
cause trouble for the defenders of law and 
order, started giving out leaflets. This 
had been bad enough at York St where 
the march had started - treason in front of 
the city hall! No less than 2 police landrc 
rovers and about ten policemen swarmed 
on the protester. At this point the 
secretary of the Belfast Trades Council 
went over to intervene, and she too was 

fted on the grounds that no one can 
question the RUC about anything they 
care to do. Some people who had seen 
the incident called on the marchers - still 
gaily marching on to the workers state, to 
do something - these workers responded 

immediately - with shouts of 'fuck off' - 
so much for worker solidarity. 
Totally enraged many women and "men 
demanded that Terry Carlin do something 
In his capacity as secretary of the ICTU. 
is he did by approaching the police to 
ease the secretary of the trades council 
as clearly a 'mistake'. He failed 
the 8 others who were also 

umably were not mistakr 
id 4Aaeople followed the 
omen's banner to Musgrave 
Ich to Carlin's dismay, to 
^jriediate release of the 
peoje detaT^B. The crowd were met by 
aa^ual nyj^Kr of RUC who were 
aAjsive ar^violent to what was a peace- 
fuwprotestT ^ey kicked, thumped, 
shouted, and attempted to break the arms 
and fingers of some of the protesters, and 
then they seized the banner itself. The 
secretary of the trades council was 
released 2 hours later. The other 8 were 
held for over 48 hours charged with 
obstruction. When their cases came up 
the following Tuesday they got off every 
charge, but they got no compensation for 
their mini-interment. The RUC have been 
going on much as usual since the event. 
If you're planning to go on any marches 
in the future, particulary trade union ones 
here are a few hints that you may find 

DO be sensible about clothing- 
DON'T wear anything they can grab, we 
would recommend a leotard and 
tights, a diving suit, or perhaps 
naked is the best policy, 
wear strong shoes, industrial steel 
toecaps are advised otherwise you 
may have a few broken toes - 
there are a lot of heavy RUC men* 

wear your hair short, cut it to 
about one inch all over, or better 
still shave your head that way the 
RUC cannot pull it. 
keep your hands firmly in your 
pockets at all times otherwise 
they will charge you with assault. 
Other things to note: 
DON'T depend on 'workers' to come to 
your aid, especially the trendy 
lefty types who dust their badges 
down once a year and spend the 
rest of the year reading and writinj 
about the working class. 
DON'T carry anything - cameras, plastic 
bags ( especially if they have green 
on them), paper hankies, etc., are 
all likely to be offensive weapons 
and you'll get charged accordingly. 
DON'T assume that you have any rights - 

you have none. 
DON'T assume that the RUC aren't out to 
get you - you would be wrong 





For the past three weeks or so, 
life has become more and more 
tense in the North. The RUC and 
British Army have dropped their 
so called low profile approach of 
recent times, arresting over 120 
people and detaining them for 
anything up to seven days, beat- 
ing and firing plastic bullets at 
people whenever and wherever 
possible as a substitute for live 
ammunition. The British Govern- 
ment through the spectre of 
Humphrev Atkins and their mass 
media have been scaring people to 
death with some of the most 
incredible headlines and announce 
ments about plans to raze the 
Short Strand, about the inevitable 
bloodbath which was to follow 
the death of Bobby Sands and 
that families in West Belfast are 
stockpiling food for the outcome 
of a long campaign-who can 
afford to stockpile food in such 
quantities these days? In an 
atmosphere of such fear, ignor 
ance and intransigence on the 
part of the British State, how 
many women like my friend's 
neighbour are literally eating the 
valium these days? 

W ith well over three quarters of a 
million prescriptions for tranquilisers 
handed out each year mostly to 
women who have been diagnosed as 
anxious, depressed and tense and a 
futher half a million 'hypnotic' pres- 
criptions (barbiturates-sleeping tablets) 
and this in a population of one and 
a half million people, you can be sure 
that the number is quite staggering! 
Not all are prescribed because of the 

troubles of course. Valium and 
Librium are the cheap and easy mod- 
ern cure all for anyone who can't 
cope with appalling housing conditions 
unemployment, no social amenities, 
domestic violence, the cost of staying 
alive these days and the pressures of 
urban life; they blot out your 
problems and although you are reduc- 
ed to the walking dead you can still 
carry on with your 'normal everyday 


It makes you more laid back, divorced 
from the reality in which all of us 
are forced to live. By acting directly 
on the anxiety centres of the brain 
and on the spinal cord, reactions are 
dampened down and muscles relax. In 
relation to other drugs like morphine 
for example, there is rarely a physical 
addiction but as physical and psychol- 
ogical roots are not easily separated, 
it is quite easy to become dependent 
on it. Some people, especially the 
old, get drowsy and confused, some 
suffer from headaches, blurred vision 
and a dry mouth. These days it is 
more common for a doctor to pres- 
cribe Mogodon (a stronger form of 
Valium) as a sleeping pill. Again it 
is less physically addictive than the 
usual barbiturates or other types of 
sleeping tablet but can be just as hard 
to give up. 

Valium doesn't cause cancer, but there 
is evidence to suggest it can promote 
it by making cancer tumours grow 
more quickly. Many doctors do presc- 
ribe it to patients who have cancer and 
who are naturally anxious, so they may 
well be making the disease worse. The 
researcher who made the studies has 
been denied funding four times on the 
grounds that further research was 'not 
worth doing' and was fired from the 
Clinical Research Institute of Montreal 
for talking about his work to the press. 

Tranquilisers are not just prescribed to 
those of us who can't cope with life 
without them. They are, for instance, 
commonly administered during the 
first stage of labour to take the edge 
off contractions. The effects on the 
baby are well known and also quite 
common. The baby's breathing becomes 
sluggish and valium can interfere with 
the baby's ability to cope with cold 
stress and may cause jaundice. Other 
tranquilisers in common use include 
Sparine with Nisentil (a narcotic) and 
Phenergan which may cause the labour to 
slow down or stop altogether. After the 
baby is born every mother is doled out 
a ration each day of painkillers and 
sleeping tablets. 

This practice of handing out tranquilisers 
continues if a woman suffers from post 
natal depression. Instead of seeing her 
as a woman isolated and overwelmed at 
home with a demanding new born baby, 
unsure of what is the best thing to do, 
lacking emotional support and assistance, 
they see her as some sort of neurotic 
woman who doesn't have the right 
instincts to be a good mother. It becomes 
the woman's fault if she can't cope. 


This leads us into the whole area of 
housework, the crushing boredom of it 
all enclosed in a world which has meaning 
only for the person in it If a woman 
cannot live up to the ideal, that excessive- 
ly houseproud caricature, then she 
becomes a failure in the eyes of her 
family and the State and her inability 
to carry on and the stress she is under 
can all to easily lead to tranquilisers. 
Feelings of lifelessness and exhaustion 
from the lack of stimulation in the home 
ensue, and maybe also because women 
are unconsciously 'on strike' and the 
only way they can signify that the work 
is oppressive and too much is by 
complaining of being tired all the time. 


The medical profession doesn't feel it 
has done its job right if it hasn't bombard- 
ed every pregnant woman with scientific 
and technological know how and equip- 
ment. It is even acceptable for the young 
pregnant woman to suffer some'emotion- 
al instability'. Not so for the woman 

coming to the end of her fertile years 

in a word the medical profession ignores 
these women. They are fobbed off with 
Valium and painkillers. And yet this is 
the time in a woman's life which can be 
the most traumatic, and certainly there 
is more likelihood of suffering depression 
at this time than at any other. Apart 
from the physical symptoms, the hot 
flushes which occur mostly at night 
disturbing sleep, and the reality that one 
is an 'ageing' woman, menopause often 
coincides with the time when a woman's 
youngest children are leaving home. 
What does society expect a woman to do 
after her children have left home? Those 
of us who do not have a 'worthwhile 
and satisfying' job in the outside world 
are faced with redundancy. Our assign- 
ment to be sex objects and then mothers, 
is finished. Everything that was expected 
of us by our families and friends, by the 
State, mass media and the Church has 
been done. And the logic is that if you 
do as you are told you get a reward. 

And what a reward...the most soul and mind 

destroying of jobs and also the lowest paid, 
cleaning hospitals, offices, factories, other 
people's houses-it is no small wonder 
that some women end up feeling useless 
and worthless and not allowed by 
definition to become hostile to their 
families, and seeing no other outlet for 
them, turn the resentment inwards and 
become depressed. 


These amazing little pills have suddenly 
become a subject of interest. They have 
been doled out for the past twenty five 
years to treat heart and circulation prob- 
lems but they have an added value to the 
medical profession- they can alleviate 
anxiety and are 'less addictive' than 
tranquilisers like Valium. But how can one 
crutch be less addictive than another if 
you just can't get through the day without 
it? As yet only propranolol, an ICI 
product, is officially licensed for treating 
anxiety, but with the enormous profits 
to be made from tranquilisers, these pills 
will rapidly appear on the market to 
treat depression. 

These drugs act differently on the body- 
apparently, whenever we are anxious, 
afraid and tense the body's defense 
mechanism pumps more and more blood 
to the heart and the arms and legs so that 
if we want to make a quick exit we can. 
Chemicals like adrenalin, for example, 
aid this flow of blood. They flood the 
body, particulary the heart's muscle cells 
and the blood vessels to stimulate them- 
hence that thumping heart. From such a 
graphic description you will be able to 
guess what propranolol does— it cancels 
it all out, not totally safely, nor without 
side effects and anyone suffering from 
asthma and any other breathing difficulty 
had better forget about them altogether. 


It is difficult to know what to say to the 
woman on Roche 10, spaced out of her 
head. With people dying round you, the 
obvious and brutal repression of the 
State, the blatency of unemployment 
and poverty and the peddling of pills by 
the medical profession, such statements 
about a future society based on people's 
needs seem idealistic and distant. And 
yet we will always need props like Valium 
et al, like excessive drinking, cigarettes, 
sleeping tablets, to help us serve our time 
make profits for multi national companies 
and to save the medical establishment 
time and energy because by prescribing 
them they neither have to talk or listen 
to their patients. 

We can all gain help and solidarity from 
meeting and talking to other women in 
consciousness raising groups and self help 
groups. By realising that we do not have 
individual problems but that these are 
common to all, we will be nearer the solution 

the control of our own bodies in a 

society where all people are free. 


Gaining Ground is no longer a woman 's 
supplement to Outta Touch! !!( Stoics 
please note). 

The idea of the first supplement was to 
celebrate International Women's Day 
and to sound out whether or not we had 
the support and the resolve to produce 
a monthly paper. We were tentative about 
it; having been in various women's 
groups in the seventies, we knew that we 
didn 't want a paper which would be 
irregular and consequently out of date 
very often. 

We were a bit taken aback by all the 
encouragement to make it into a perman- 
ent paper in its own right and were glad 
of the criticism and the unexpected 
compliments: its good to have that 
feedback to keep us on our toes! There 
has not been a feminist paper in the 
North for over a year now and whatever 
may be decided in the future, for the 
present Gaining Ground will try to fill 
the gap. 

But Gaining Ground is firmly rooted in 
the place where it is written and prod- 
uced -Belfast. We don 't make any apolog 
ies for that because we feel the more 
local papers, newsletters, etc that women 
produce the better. Recently there has 
been talk about an all Ireland feminist 
magazine getting off the ground but we 
feel that firstly as there has been no 
Northern Irish one in quite a while and 
the chances are very remote and we are 
not so sure that that would be the best 
thing for the women 's movement. Too 
much work has yet to be done at the 
basic grassroots level before we go on to 
greater things. 

One possibility that we hope will be in 
circulation by June is the publication 
of a Northern Irish feminist newsletter 
for women only giving details, news and 
events of issues of interest to women. If 
you feel you have anything to contribute 
send it off to Women 's Newsletter, 
Women's Centre, 18 Do negall Street, 
Belfast or also if you would like to 
receive it - its £1. 00 for one years sub. 

Remember too-we want contributions, 
letters, views, ideas as well- C/o 7 
Winetavern Street, Belfast. 


A Public Meeting is to be held in the near 
future on Domestic Violence and the new 
law, the Domestic Proceedings Order for 
Northern Ire/and which came in on 
December 1st of last year. Most women 
don't realise the rights that they now have 
under this order within the courts and that 
they can now obtain Protection and 
Exclusion Orders. 

There are four refuges in Northern /re/and, 
for help and solidarity phone Belfast 662385 
or 662348, Deny 69279 and 65969, 
Strabane 882261 and Portrush 823195 and 

RVH Creche 

The creche at the Royal Victoria Hospital 
reported last month in Gaining Ground is 
to have a new building within six months. 
In the meantime there is the problem of 


During the hunger strike in Germany, 
which ended with the death of Sigurd 
Debus on the 16th April, there was a 
remarkable support from women. 
At the beginning of the hunger strike 
prisoners relatives mostly mothers, 
occupied the Spiegel building and put 
out a resolution in support of the 
hunger strike. 

A video was made and was then shown 
at a women's conference which was 
held by 'women against imperialist war' 
in Hamburg. Before the video was showr 
women had already successfully stopped 
Mrs.Leithauser (Senator for Justice) 
to make her speech on women in jail 
(she is responsible for two prisoners 
being forcefed). Instead women 
started talking about the hunger strike 
Impressed by the film over 300 women 
decided to make a spontaneous 
demonstration to the NDR (Radio 
station) to demand the broadcasting of 
the film on television. 


The May Women's Unity meeting was . 
held a week later than usual because of 
the May Day march on the first week of 
the month. This may explain why the 
meeting was smaller than usual- but 
withstanding that the discussion was 
interesting and wide. 

The main theme of the day was on the 
question of a creche for the meeting and 
then on creches in general. Some women 
are interested in setting up a similar 
organisation to the Dublin based 'Rent a 
creche' group. This group is made up of 
about twenty part time workers. The 
group will provide a creche for any 
organisation or group- their charge is 
£2 an hour for each worker needed, 
travel costs plus £5 for wear and tear on 
their equipment. For this they will 
provide all equipment needed- and they 
will charge reduced or sometimes no 
money for certain groups. 

A group like this would be invaluable 
in Northern Ireland, as last Saturday 
all the children who were in the creche 
(3) were content as were their mothers 
in the meeting. At the end of the meeting 
a collection was taken up to pay for the 
worker and this would be possible at 
every meeting and at all women's meet- 
ings. Any women interested in helping 
even on the basis of a few hours per 
week with payment should contact the 
women's centre. 

The meeting also discussed the newsletter 
which is now hoped to have ready by 
June andthe council elections. A letter 
has been drafted on behalf of the Unity 
meeting and will go out to all political 
parties involved demanding specific 
action on women's issues. 

The next unity meeting is on June 6th 
at 1 1.00 in Women's Centre-the theme 
Nuclear Power. 

finding a building to hold the creche in the 
meantime as their existing building is needed 
for the handicapped, its original purpose. 
An appeal has been made for a six month 
postponement o' the closure of the existing 
building by the 66 parents who use it. 


Domitila de Chungara, a Bolivian from 
the Altiplano, is the wife of a miner 
in Siglo XX. She has been arrested and 
tortured under each of the dictatorships 
which the Bolivian people have had to 
bear during the past ten years and on no 
less than three ocassions she was taken 
whilst pregnant and miscarried as a 
result of torture. On 17th July when 
General Meza seized power in the last 
coup, Domitila was attending a 
conference parallel to the UN sponsored 
conference on women.. .when news of 
the coup broke, she burst into the 
latter conference to denounce the brutal- 
ity of the Bolivian army and to issue an 
appeal for solidarity with the Bolivian 
people. The following interview has 
been translated from Bicicleta, Latin 
America, special issue 1980. 

Ariane: We know that quite a few women have 
been arrested since the coup. How would you 
account for the fact that repression is also 
directed against women? 
pmnitila: In Bolivia, women have always played 
an important role in campaigns for social and 
economic betterment. For instance, Maria 
Barzola was killed along with demonstrating 
workers back in 1942. After that, in a more 
organised way women have been active in the 
mines since 1961. On 20 June 1961 a woman's 
organisation was set up for the first time in 
the mining became known as the 
Housewives Committee. It was formed out of 
the need to stand up against the repression 
and injustice then being visited on the labour 
movement. The fact was that those women's 
husbands were in prison. In desperation the 
women met in union rooms and decided to 
march together to demand the release of their 
menfolk in the hope that together they would 
be stronger and more successful. And so it 
occurred to them to go to La Paz and they 
mounted the first hunger strike which lasted 
for nearly nine days and secured the release 
of their menfolk. The women realised that 
organisation meant strength and so they 
decided to remain in touch with one another 
and pursue their struggle. 
In Bolivia as elsewhere we were not used to 
women getting involved in other than the 
domestic affairs for which we had been 
educated. So the women in the group were 
criticised by other women and even by their 
men. Their little organisation would not last 
24 hours, it was argued. But such was the 
determination of those comrades and their 
tireless devotion to their labours that they 
won and so over the past ten years the 
Committee has been as much a target for rep 
ression as any of the trade unions. Perhaps 
others too saw that union meant strength and 
that they posed a threat. And so they also 
repressed the women's organisations, the 
Housewives Committees. 
Along with the Miners Federation and the 
underground Labour Central, COB, the 
women were the spearhead of the struggle and 
took charge of all the business, because their 
colleagues of the Miners Federation were not 
able to walk the streets as they were subject 
to persecution in 1976, 1977 and 1978. 
At the end of 1977 after careful planning with 
the miners and the COB the women began the 
hunger strike which, effectively routed the 
Banzer regime. That strike lasted 2 1 days. 

Having toppled that pseudo-democratic sham, 
the women and their colleagues were convinced 
that women were a real force to reckon with, 
and that the housewives needed to be organised, 
not just in Siglo XX but also in the countryside, 
in ail the mining towns and in the cities. So 
they began to organise the peasant women as 
well and managed to hold a congress of peasant 
women attended by some 2000 representatives. 
This conference dealt with issues of every sort: 
political, social, and economic, everything. So 
much so that the congress discussed the problem 
of birth control, food prices, the high cost of 
living, and housing etc. Finally the federation 

of peasant women affiliated to the COB. 

We were not unconnected with what was going 

on in the mines. These were our sons, our men; 

we were their wives and daughters. There was no 

distinction between us. We all had our part to 


Ariane: The involvement of Bolivian women in 
the struggle has altered their relationship with 
the men. Would it be true to say that you are no 
longer considered just household servants. 
Domitila: Yes. I think there have been great 
changes, even though many people may not 
accept it. But most people do accept it. For 
instance we housewives have our own place and 
part to play in the trade unions. Whenever dele- 
gates meet, they represent just as much as they dc 
the men. We all take an equal part in discussions. 
In Siglo XX we no longer face such discriminatior 
in other areas though, discrimination still exists. 
I have seen such discrimination and have heard p 
people say, 'No way, this is not an assembley of 
workers'. But what our comrades must under- 
stand and what the women have realised, is that 
exploitation is not just the lot of the worker and 
labourer but also that of a woman and her child- 
ren. And we have seen the truth of that in our 
encampments and mining districts. 

Ariane: So the growth of consciousness among 
women has been a slow and difficult process? 
Domitfl a,: There has been a great awakening 
among women over the past three years. Most of 
them have come to appreciate that they are being 
exploited. Thay knew that they suffered greatly 
but what are we told by the traditional church . 
and religion, by our grandmothers and tradition? 
...that this is how it has always been and must be 
so! The Church teaches that here in this life, one 
must suffer, otherwise this would not be this 
life but paradise. But there has been an awaken- . 
ing during the past three years. I think we are 
making huge strides forward. And this is at the r 
root of the coup and the repression which is at 
this moment striking hard at workers, peasants, 
and women.... because these are the backbone of 
the resistance, the source of the threat. 

Ariane: Do you think the coup represents a . 
threat to the growth of consciousness which has 
eased the move towards democracy? 
Pomitila ; I don't think the people will give an 
inch. We have so many coups in Bolivia.. ..but we 
have always fought back from clandestinity, 
always pursued the struuggle. At least I have not 
noticed any retreat since I became 'aware'. 
Ariane: Is it true that at the start of the hunger •» 
strike you did not get much support from the 

Domitila: Yes it is. Nobody wanted to support 
us. The political parties thought it inoppurtune. 
Even the people in the human rights league did 
not believe in us. The only ones who did were 
the Miner's Federation, and the COB. The hereos 
only turned up when it was all over... like the 
human rights people! Even when the strike was 
at its height they dared to make concessions... in 
our name! Whats going on I asked myself, so 
thay told me and Dr Sues Salinas told me: 'Ah 
but I must not let myself be compromised by 

extremists.' 'But doctor, I answered, 'it just so 
Happens that we are the ones who are being com- 
promised. Because my husband was not in jail 
and not one member of my family is in prison 
but I am still here on strike. Right? Then I am 
placing them in danger. So thanks, doctor thanks 
say no more and leave us to get on with our 
strike.' But the booklet published by the human 
rights league about the hungerstrike, makes no 
mention of us. No all it talks about are the priests 
and the Siles Salinas types. 

Ariane: What is your chief concern at the pres- 
ent time? 

Domitila: The campaign for the release of the 
union leaders, because they should not be locked 
up. Because even the law recognises their right 
of association and their trade union rights. 

Ariane: How were you received at the Copen- 
hagen conference? 

Domitila: Badly. The police set about us when- 
ever we tried to enter the official UN congress on 
women, where government representatives were 
sitting. The other conference involved non gov- 
ernmental organisations. I was invited to the 
latter conference. But imperialism intruded even 
into it. When the coup came I denounced it and 
we all made for the UN congress to make our 
voices heard there.. ..and that is when the police 
attacked us. 

Ariane: What we have been greatly and pleasantly 
surprised to discover in the homes of the Bolivian 
exiles whom we have visited is that everybody 

joins in the discussions, political or otherwise, 
from the oldest to the youngest. 

Domitila: Look the peasants in Oruro invited me 
to deliver a talk and organise lectures on trade . 
unionism. I was a bit rash and said 'sure, I'll go 
along and talk to them about the women's issue. 
...m pester them so that they will let their > 
women go to the union meetings as welL.and 
organise themselves.' And then what happens? 
So I go along to the offices, quite big offices, the 
offices of Radio Oruro which used to belong to 
the priests, who then made a present of it to the 
peasants. So I go in and find that I am being 
introduced to a packed hall consisting of men 
and women and wawas (children). The there 
leader gets up and introduces me and says 
'Comrade, please excuse us . We invited you hear 
to lecture the menfolk but we have brought our 
women along with us too, for we are peasants 
and we follow in the footsteps of our forefathers 
and they involved their women in everything. So 
we want the women to fight at our sides. Except 
the wawas might bother us a little.' And I said, 
'That's all right comrade: it is just as well that 
you did bring the women, I was all set to make 
your ears burn for not allowing them to come... 
instead it is my ears that are burning. And you 
might as well know that I never bring my children 
along to the lectures that I attend. You have 
certainly taught me a lesson. We had a great 

Ariane] Did the peasant women speak up? 

Domitila: Certainly! Indeed they did most of the 
talking. The menfolk were a bit quiet. 

The peasants have clung to the Indian traditions 
more than the miners and workers. Especially . 
regarding restraints on their leaders. The workers 
there told us "No sacred cows here. Nothing 
sacred here" So you get some stick if you deserve 
it. I don't know how many times I have heard 
them shutting up even comrade Lechin Chead of 
the COB at meetings. I remember how many a 
time they reduced us at the Housewives Committee 
meetings to tears. They took us to task and gave us 
good dressing down, but, it is true that sometimes 
we took a crazy line. Now I see that. ..little by 
little we have been learning better. 

RqIOp outside Ireland 

News & Views of the, 

Belfast Anarchist Collective ; 

.... of ^ stake } bosses, pate^dry, Scheming 
A*a.*cWis+s uit oppose 'fV* autWih} a^J, 

.oottA- <^)Mt«,OU 
eWex^chts .... A< 


On Wednesday 10th June, RUC con- 
stable Robert McKeown stood trial 
for the murder of a sixteen year old, 
Michael McCartan. It is the first time 
that a member of the RUC has been 
charged with murder whilst on duty. 
McKeown's acquittal came as no surprise 
to Michael's family and members of the 
Lower Ormeau community who attended 
the five-day trial, What else is to be expect- 
ed when a member of the RUC comes bef- 
ore a court specially created to preserve 
the sectarian state. The crown prosecutor 
seemed unsure whether he was defending 
or prosecuting the accused and the judge, 
Mr Justice Jones, is an ex-British soldier, 
former unionist M.P. for Derry, and was a 
Stormont Attorney General. McKeown was 
brought to trial only because of pressure 
from trie community who were horrified 
at the obviously sectarian nature of the 
crime and the police attempts to cover up 
for it. Protests were held on the Ormeau 
Road and the community organised a 
'People's Tribunal of Inquiry'. Once again 
the Security Forces have asserted their 
right to kill unarmed civilians, secure in the 
knowledge that the Diplock Courts are 
prejudiced in their favour. 
Michael McCartan was murdered on 23rd 
July 1980 about 10.25pm. He had been 
painting 'Provos' on a hoarding near the 
r Ormeau Road. Three friends who were act- 
as look-outs for him, warned Michael of a 
green Escort van which they knew to be a 
police vehicle. The van turned up a street 
off the Ormeau Rd. Michael put down the 

back of Dromara St. where McKeown shot 
him. McKeown claimed that he had called 
out twice for Michael to stop but neither 
the three boys who had been with Michael 
nor three others playing cards under the 
bridge nearby heard these shouts. Only 
constable McDonald reported hearing them 
It was claimed that McKeown fired becau- 
se he thought the paint brush Michael was 
holding when he turned around was a gun. 
He said he had heard there was a gunman 
in the area and that the lighting was poor. 
The forensic evidence showed that the 
bullet entered Michael's body at the left 
back. The defence claimed that Michael 
must have turned round before the bullet 
struck him. Evidence from the Electricity 
Services showed that there were strong 
lights switched on at 10.20pm. on the 
Ormeau Bridge and at the hoarding which 
shed light onto the place where Michael 
was shot. McKeown himself admitted that 
when he got out of the van the light was 
'pretty fair' but minutes later when he 
drew his gun it was 'poor'. He could not 
remember whether the street lights were 

If Michael stopped and was turning round 
why did McKeown open fire if the boy 
was only doing what he had been told to 
do. Michael passed within a few yards of 
McKeown so why did he not see the paint 
tin in one hand and the paint brush in the 
other. McKeown is an excellent marksman 
and did not need to shoot to kill. He stated 
that he had heard there was a gunman in 
the area, and also that he thought the 

paint tin and brush. The three friends ran 
off. Unknown to them constable McKeown 
and McDonald had been observing them 
from the bottom of Dromara St. As the 
three boys left, Mc Keown crept along the 
back of Dromara St. and stood, gun in 
hand, with his back against the gable wall 
of a house fronting the Ormeau- Rd. (Mich- 
ael was painting the hoarding at the side of 
this house). Michael peeped around the 
corner but did not see McKeown so he 
picked up the paint tin and brush an( l 
made his way to the concrete path at the 

white object Michael had was a bomb. He 
stated that McDonald had remarked that 
the boys looked as though they were going 
to high-jack a vehicle. Yet neither Mc 
Keown nor McDonald radioed for assist- 

The prosecution did not challenge the del- 
iberately misleading statements made by 
the police that there was a gunman in the 
area nor the way the Lower Ormeau was 
referred to as the Upper Markets. Mr. Just- 
ice Jones accepted everything the RUC 

Continued on back page 

Creative Recording and Sound Services 
offered a free flexi-disc to IPC Public- 
ations who publish, amonst other crap, 
a teenage romantic magazine called 
'Loving'. The disc, 'Our Wedding' was on 
offer to the readers of 'Loving' for the 
price of an 18p. stamp. 
Needless to say they were fuming when 
they belatedly realised they had been 
conned into promoting a record by the 
Anarchist punk band CRASS who made 
the single. It is taken from their forth- 
coming album 'Penis Envy' which is a 
scathing attack on love and marriage. 
Released around the end of June it will 
be available from Just Books. 


According to the latest 'State Research; 
the British Army has been illegal since 
the 31st. April 1955. State Research have 
not found any legal measures to legitimise 
the Army or the Air Force since that date. 
Apparently in the bill of rights 1866 it was 
set out that an Army Act be passed each 
year to legitimise the Army and to safe- 
guard parliament against overthrow/liquid- 
ation by the monarch. 
So back in good old '55 parliament obviou 
-sly thought the Monarch wasn't a threat 
and no longer continued to pass the Army 
Act. But at the same time no longer legit- 
imised it's existence. 
Unfortunately it will take quite a while 
before the implications are known, since 
some acts are passed which refer to/or 
finance the military. 
But certain areas are still unclear, in the 
North for example it would seem that the 
Secetary of State for Defence can be prosc- 
ecuted for any damage or injury carried 
out by the military in the past 26 years. 
Conscientious objectors would be able to 
take legal action against rules designed to 
keep them in a force which oughtn't 
legally to exist. 

If State Research claims turn out to be 
true, retrospective legislation will be the 
order of the day — an embarassing day at 


There are many reasons why the British 
government maintains its hold militarily 
in the north, but there can be no doubt 
that it is in spite of the economics of the 
area. In fact the financial costs show to 
what expense it will go in order to keep 
that hold. 


The north is an invaluabie communications 
base for the planned nuclear 'theatre war' 
in Europe, between the USA and USSR. 
The cable and radar systems, which accom- 
pany the norths strategic position (eg. to 
the Atlantic) have been dealt with in prev- 
ious issues of OC. 


The prestige of a government and army, 
with a glorious (read 'bloody') imperialist 
past are at stake. If the army were to pull 
out, the appearance that they had lost, 
would encourage those communities in 
Britain who are currently challenging that 
same authority. Asian and West Indian 
communities, who came to Britain because 
of imperialism, are to the forefront in this 

Black people in Bristol rioted last year and 
created a short-lived 'no go' area in St. 
St. Pauls, after years of racism and harass- 
ment from the police. 

More recently, after much prediction, 
Brixton too exploded in anger. The scale 
and violence may have surprised those 
who 'forget' Britain's imperialism, but it 
reflected the rejection of it by those who 
are its victims.. Black people were joined 
in the street fighting by the gay commur. 
ity who also face harassment from the 
police and state. A certainjpespect was 
won from the usually hostile 'butch' 
young black men. 

In many ways the south of Ireland is of 
much more value to Britain than the north 
There are considerable British ( as well as 
American, German, Japanese.etc) invest- 
ments and important mutual trading. 
Politically the south has no small influence 
within the EEC, and of course there is the 
possibility of a future defence pact suit- 
able to NATO. 

At the present moment, any removal of 
troops, and responsibility for security 
passing to Dublin, would endanger south- 
ern stability. The anti-imperialist struggle 
would extend to the south, with the 
investments and alliances within the EEC 
not the only areas at risk. 
The cosy relationship between the two 
electoral parties and the deadening control 
jver education and morality by the Cath- 
olic Church, would be shaken. 

A united Irish state, which Britain event- 
ually wants, could only be encouraged at 
the same time as physically and ideolog- 
ically smashing those elements advocating 
radical change outside of parliament. 
Other wise they would create havoc in any 
capitalist 32 county state. 


To what financial costs will the British 
government go, in order not to 'lose face 
and authority'. To place the north in 
context, it has the highest regional figures 
for bad housing, unemoloyment, depend- 
ence on welfare, electricity and gas rates, 
most food items and alcohol for the whole 
of the 'U.K.' 

But the government obviously cherishes 
our freedom more. According to research 
published in the New Statesman last monti 
(May) security costs £6 per head per week, 
compared to less than £1 for the rest of 
the Disunited Queendom. The total figure 
this year will be £450 million. This is 
broken down to £326 m. for 'Law, Order 
and Protective Services' (mainly the RUC) 
and £130 m. for the extra cost of keeping 
the troops here (over and above the cost 
of keeping them in say W. Germany) 

There is also the gap between what is rais- 
ed locally in taxes, rates, etc. and what 
Westminster spends on roads, health, etc. 
This 'Grant in Aid' should be £326 
million this year. 

In addition there are 'parity payments' - 
the difference between what is raised in 
companies and workers insurance contrib- 
utions, and what the unemployed and 
pensioners receive in benefits. This years 
costs are expected to approach £200 m. 

So the overall cost of subsidies amounts 
to £1.5 billion a year — equivalent to 
£20 per person per week. Not included 
are the enormous industrial subsidies to 
the likes of Harland and Wolf shipyards, 
nor De Lorean's car plant. 

The article in the NS was entitled 'The 
most subsidised people on earth'. Aren't 
we lucky? Though surely it should have 
been 'The most number of ...', with the 
above title going to the ever increasing 
Royal Family . 



! 5 3 O) 

7m Pound 
Security Hut 

"No more money".." Last handout;' ran 
the headlines at the beginning of the year, 
referring to the De lorean sportscar plant 
in Belfast 

But on May 22nd, a further government 
loan of 7 million pounds was promised by 
the industry and commerce minister, 
Butler. This raises the total amount of 
' public finance for the project to over £80 

The official justification was "a cash flow 
problem arising from the recent burning 
of part of the companys office accomodat- 
ion by a fire, started by a petrol bomb'.' 
Local people, however, maintain that only 
a security hut was burned and the main 
office complex not touched. It appears 
that De Loreans huts are as exclusive as 
his sportscars. 

The company hope to doubly benefit, as a 
claim for compensation is being persued 
seperately under the Criminal Damage 

As for the Security Guard, he stood his 
ground and fired nails from-ia nail gun at 
the "offending" youths. When the Brits 
arrived, they failed to penetrate the surr- 
ounding wire mesh, so they fired 
ineffectively over it! 


The women in Romac, who make fashion 
and protective clothing, though, have 
not been so lucky. On Tuesday, 16th May, 
at five to four, one of the directors ann- 
ounced that the company could not 
guarantee them any more pay, after that 
week's payday (Thursday). Thus the 
company hoped to steal 2 weeks wages 
which it owed the women — one for the 
week in lieu (each weeks pay is in fact for 
the previous week's work), and one for the 
holiday pay which everyone was entitled 
under law. 

Mc Cabes, Dima Dresses, and Romac are 
three clothing firms, all with addresses in 
Queen St., central Belfast. The government 
receiver, Mr. Stuart, has been called in to 
the first two firms, and has guaranteed the 
workforce (predominantly women) two 
weeks wages when they are made redund- 

On Wednesday at 8.30 am. the 50 women 
workers and 4 young men (from- the cutt- 
ing room) decided to occupy the premises 
until they got a guarantee of their 2 weeks 

Margaret Donnelly, who is one of the long- 
er 'serving' workers, explained that some 
of the women have been with the firm for 
24 years, and were disgusted at their 

The government, she said, also share resp- 
onsibility. A receiver was not sent in, but 
they expect a liquidator to descend once 4 
the women have been kicked out; and he £ 
will have no authority to guarantee their jf 

The womens union, The Garment Workers' 
Union, have so far failed to make their 
protest action official, though, when press- 
ed, could offer no reason for backing out, 
other than claiming to be 'having talks witr 
with the management'. 
The shop stewards, though, including ones 
from Mc Cabes' other firms, have given 
strong support and were present for the 
all night sit-in. 

Other sources of support were from the 
women of Dima Dresses who collected 
£17 for the first nights food; and the 
women from O' Hara's bread shop in 
Queen St. who made a collection and sent 
over some food for their tea. 


Since 1979, when about 4,000 people gathered at the 
the construction site of the proposed nuclear reactor at 
Torness, 30 miles east of Edinburgh, atitudes towards 
differing forms of protest have remained much the same - 
hardening and polarising in some cases -although since then 

During the second week of May, around about a hundred 
people gathered at a campsite one mile from the construct- 
ion site. Events during the week of action included a 
Womens' march and rally, which was quite well attended, in 
Edinburgh, a local residents' rally which attracted about a 
thousand people. Some people managed to make a landing 
from the sea onto the construction site, occupied several 
cranes, draped anti-nuclear banners from the tops, and 
leaving after negotiations with the site security personell(e). 

About 30 cyclists and 200 non-cyclists met at the construct- 
ion site gates, sat down, got up and moved onto the road 
and off again all under the paternal guiding hands of the 
local constabulary. Eventually they left and some moved on 
to occupy a row of cottages (at that time owned by the 
SSEB, who were in the process of selling them to a local 
farmer who had plans to demolish them and move on to 
greater things) directly beside the reactor-site perimeter 
fence. Both the demonstrators and the police realised the 
potential of a sustained occupation, and after regular visits 
to the cottages (checking on numbers and plans), the police 
moved in en force (about 50) to evict the dozen or so people 
who had intended to stay indefinitely. At 4:30 the following 
morning the cottages were but a pile of rubble. 

Many things warrant further consideration, and high on the 
list of priorities are the changing police tactics, and our 
counter tactics. 

The same cop has been orchestrating police manouvres at 
Torness since 1979, obviously enjoying the oppurtunity to 
play with the protesters. I don't know what happened in'78, 
but the events of May '79 were rather an embarassment for 
the forces of law n' order, with 3,000 people breeching the 
outer fence, and a further 400 smashing-and-a-wrecking 
within the inner compound (after pulling down a hundred 
feet of fence before the cops' very eyes and noses). 

The 1980 police tactics changed: fewer people turned up, 
and the police were there in force, force being the key word. 
Determined to make amends for the previous years security 
fiasco, law and order laid into the demonstrators at the 
slightest excuse, arresting 28 people. 

This year, the police excelled themselves. They displayed 
what seemed to be a reasonable prescence, having pre-set 
themselves limits of what was accecptable and what was not. 
The rate at which they have learnt to contain demonstrat- 
ions allowing people to sit down, stand up, decorate them- 
selves, shout, sing, dance and fizzle out amazes me. Sadly, 
most people seemed to believe that the police actually are 
reasonable people, not realising that the cops were happy to 
let us burn ourselves out, at the same time being ready to 
immediately move in to suppress any directly effectual 
action. The "police are people too!" train of thought promp- 
ted some to make tea (yes, seriously!) for the police in an 
open-mouthed attempt to confuse them as to where their 
loyalties lay - christ. 

What might have developed into a piece of direct action 
was stifled almost immediately by bad planning and the cops 
who pounced on a group of people leaving a van in the hills 
surrounding the reactor site. All roads in the area were 
under direct observation, to the extent of the police parking 
a caravan at a key observation point in the hills. The heart 
breaking facts are that apart from the 'low-intensity operat- 
ion' being badly propogated, some of those taking part 
seemed to look on it as a game of 'cops and robbers!. ...(real 
live cops/toy town robbers). One person who made good an 
escape told me how she was amazed to hear, whilst hiding 
under the nose of the constabulary in the shadow of a bush, 
laughter, jokes and fun &games coming from the ranks of 
those lifted. Apparently conversation bordered on dangerous. 
I, in all my naievity, believed that it was a serious attempt to 
make an attack at the roots of some very violent technology. 
Obviously the prevailing 'holiday' atmosphere indicates that 
some thought otherwise. 

To my mind, direct action is not a subject for amusement- 
It is a form of protest that desperately (especailly in view 
of the increased tightening up of state security) The state 

has made it's plans and we must make ours Incidentely, 

who noticed the Brits driving past the campsite gates, 
thought about where they were going and what they were 
going to do? Next year they could be doing security at 
Torness.. ..or did you notice the RAF flying low over Barns 
Ness as if straddling the ground with bullets - I hope so. 

Tactics must differ in accordance to the situation. I always 
feel trapped (and previously have been) on a small, vunerab- 
le picket. Outside the construction site gates a woman grabb- 
ed my arm (doesn't happen often!) and demanded that I 
sit down. I made my objection that to sit would be to place 
ourselves in a vunerable, immobile position, aside from being 
an entirely unnecessary act at the time - they sat. That 
incident is indicative of the preconcieved approaches to 
steriotyped protesting that seems so prevalent in Britain. 

The conclusions which I have drawn from Torness '81 are 
the same as those fowarded (but as yet not followed up) 
by many people after each yearly protest - We must choose 
our own ground, our own unannounced times, and our own 
tactics - not by playing in the court of the state with 
predictable methods of protest. 


Just out from Co-op Books is the 56 page 
booklet on the famous Ralnahine cooper- 

The first part of the book deals with the 
situation in the 18th. century in Ireland. 
Small tennant farmers were at the complete 
mercy of the landlords, they had to starve 
to pay the rent. Every landlord employed 
managers and overseers who treated the 
farmhands in a most disrespectful manner. 
The book gives-interesting accounts of 
how the tennants were treated and how 
some of them organised themselves into 
secret societies to teach their "masters" a 
lesson. But there was also the mass action 
of the people like marches etc. which seem 
-ed to cost them a lot in lives and pain. 
Daniel O.Connel, that well known of 
Irish bourgeois opportunists, is given an 

interesting mention in how he used the 
Irish peasantry and forgot their needs 

when he got what he wanted. This caused 
great revulsion amoungst the peasantry 

who turned to their own methods and obt- 
ained more radical results. The country 
was on the verge of social upheaval and 
this spelt danger for the landlords and their 

A Co. Clare landlord by the name of John 
Scott Vandeleur was very distressed at the 
situation especially when his manager 
Daniel Hastings was shot through the head 
and killed. The book describes how he 
decided to put an end to the agrarian viol- 
ence. He realised that stringent penalties 
etc. for offenders were useless. So in the 
end he worked out a scheme wherby he 
could buy the workers off.. Influenced by 
a lecture tour on co-operatives in Ireland, 
he decided to establish a co-operative at 
his estate at Ralahine in Co. Clare. It seems 
that he did this purely out of self interest. 
The workers didn't actually take over the 
estate but merely ran it for him. Actually, 
this was the interesting thing about the 
co-op, it showed that the peasants could 
run their own affairs and have more say in 
things that concerned the estate. But of 
course the book points out that Vandaleur 
still had control of the estate, and every- 
thing in it belonged to him. In the event 

of his departure or death, the co-operative 
would collapse and the tennants would 
have to go back to the tennant and land- 
lord system. In actual fact this is what hap- 
pened — Vandaleur lost all his money gam- 
bling (which was strictly forbidden by the 
rules of the co-operative) and fled from 
his debtors. The people had been conned 
by the reforms that they had accepted 
from the landlord, not having created their 
own change. 

The book rightly draws a parallell between 
the landlord giving the peasantry 'revolut- 
ion' on a plate, and the Southern Govt, of 
today trying to encourage co-operative 
type schemes that would be run in their 
interests.. An example is the Workers 
Participation Act (State Enterprises) of 
1977, which gives the impression of incre- 
asing workers control. Ralahine — Land 
War and the Co-operative is available from 
'Just Books', 7 Winetavern St, Belfast. 
Price of the book is £2:00. 
N.B. Jame* Connolly's 'Labour in Irish 
history contains an interesting chapter on 
Ralahine entitled, 'An Irish utopia! 



After the death of Bobby Sands, there was 
a feeling in Dublin that all hell would 
break lose. It didn't and even with the 
deaths of three more hunger strikers, all 
was still calm. The strategy, which up to 
then had failed, was continued. Liberals 
and reactionary elements were still pand- 
ered to and the campaign was to be kept 
respectable. Any criticism of this strategy 
was unwelcomed and suppressed to a certair 


After Bobby Sands died, vigils took place, 
and despite the anger, there were silent 
marches. Rosaries were said. There was a 
small riot on the night of his death and a 
few windows were broken and cars set on 
fire. It was loudly condemned by the 
National H-Block Comittee. The industrial 
action was relatively successful on the dav 
of the funeral and a large crowd attended 
the vigil outside the GPO. Speeches told us 
to stay calm, have respect, and remain 

Francis Hughes died. There was a large riot 
because people could no longer sit back 
and watch. Outside the British Embassy 
the Gardai were stoned - some rocks may 
have hit the embassy. They reacted vicious- 
ly. People were battoned indiscriminately. 
The next night three petrol bombs were 
thrown in O'Connel St, and a large crowd 
of a couple of thousand were battoned 
again. Dublin City was full of Cops. They 
were going to scare people off the streets 
no matter what the cost. During the week 
of the riot it was announced that two 
thousand more cops were being recruited — 
how convenient for the state. In all of this 
the NH-BC never said anything. The cops 
were even praised, while those who fought | 
on the streets were condemned, and it was 
claimed they were just using the H-B sit- 
uation for their own ends. There were cods 

in the H-B office every day and they 
knew more about activities than the people 
who were fighting for the prisoners. 
Joe Stagg, who had worked for years for 
the prisoners was asked to resign from the 
committee because he allegedly incited 
people to riot. 

After these disturbances, the H-B Comm- 
ittee banned all night-time demonstrations, 
despite the unwillingness of people to 
attend silent vigils and stand and be bored. 
At the previous riots even some of the 
stewards took part in the show of anger. 

After Raymond Mc Creesh and Patsy 
O'Hara died there was little action. The 
vigils and meetings were small and the davs j 
of industrial action were failures. People 

had disappeared off the streets. 


With the situation getting worse, a group 
of people, who were frustrated and 
concerned about the other prisoners form- 
ed themselves into the South City H Block 
Group for Action. This group was not cent- 
red around any one "'extreme left wing 
group', but was made up of people from 
various political and action groups who 
had been fighting consistantly for the pris- 
oners. The group aimed mainly at getting 
street activity going again. It also wanted to 
draw attention to the brutality of the cops 
which up to then had been ignored by the 
NH-BC. Tins group wanted to work within 
the NH-BC, and was not interested in form- 
ing an alternative to it. It worked on the 
basic principles of autonomous action 
groups ana the national policy of the 
campaign to destabilize the south. 

It had organised an evening march and had 
distributed leaflets at the pre-election 
national rally in Dublin, advertising it. 
After this rally it was approached by the 
NH-BC and the 'republican movement', 
and told to call off its march and disband 
... or else! The NH-BC had passed a motion 

condemning the march and circulated it 
to the action groups thus ensuring the failure^ 
of the march.The election was used conven- 1 
iently as an excuse to have no street activ- 
ity so as not to alienate the middle class 
voters. Although the candidates have been 
successful what will happen next? 

Why did the NH-BC react in this way? Well 
firstly they are still pandering to the liberal 
elements in the South, and still trying 
to build a 'broad based' campaign. To do 
this the campaign must be respectable. 
Property must not be attacked and force 
must not be used. When will they realise 
that these people will never support us. 
Those who do support the campaign now 
do so only because they are anti-imperialist 
Its contradictory to say that you can supp- 
ort the prisoners without supporting the 
anti-imperialist struggle. These people have 
not supported us in over ten years of 
struggle and naive to expect them to do so 

But there are also contradictions within 
the 'republican movement' itself - which 
in effect now controls the NH-BC. Anti- 
imperialism implies anti-capitalism,but 
this is not evident from their record in the 
south.They do not want property attacked 
nor do they want southern cops attacked. 
(Actions that were planned for the night 
after Frankie Hughes death were vetoed by 
the republican leadership). Basically they 

want the south as stable as possible so that 
they can use it as a safe military base.. 
Even though the southern state is collaber- 
ating openly with the 'British War Machine', 
the republican movement don't see it as 
a target in its anti-imperialist struggle. Rel- 
ated to this is the fact that Sinn Fein are 
a political party who effectively want to 
control the struggle. Anything that they 
not directly control is a threat to them. 

Thirdly, to a large degree, there is an att- 
empt to separate the H-Block struggle 
from other struggles that are going on. The 
kids from Dublin inner-city were loudly 
condemned when they rioted, for allegedly 
using the issue. But the NH-BC (in all its 
respectability) could not relate the shit 
housing, bad schools and lack of jobs to 
the criminalisation of the prisoners in the 
H- Blocks.. The source of both problems is 
capitalism/imperialism and the state (usu- 
ally the cops) to these kids are the enemy 
and should be attacked at every opportun- 
ity. Everyone decides what their methods 
will be according to their situation and 
resources. These kids only know one way 
of fighting and they should not be cond- 
emned for using it in support of the pris- 

If we are to stop more hunger strikers 
from dying we must realise that we must 
use direct tactics. Politicians suit themselv- 
es and will only do things if we really get 
the shits up them. Its up to us all individ- 
ually to adopt this attitude . The structur- 
es ate there and and be used, 
think it must be said that now there is 
more room for action in the south. This is 
not to put down the pople in the north 
and what they have done. Riots and civil 
distrubance can be continued up there, 
but they have almost become institutional- 
ised, with the security forces having a lot 
of practice in containing them. In the 
south civil disturbance would be of greater 
effect. The cops have had less experience 
of it. 

But our main strength lies though an indus- 
trial action. This backed up by civil disob- 
edience could bring the southern govern- 
ment to its knees. People have come out 
and could come out again. But organisation 
ion and coordination is needed. Every 
workplace needs to be canvassed — a one 
day stoppage for the next hunger striker 
who dies, two days for the one after and 
so on till people are out, till the hunger 
strikers win. Workers and unemployed in 
the north could form flying pickets and 
come down to the workplaces in the south 
These ideas have been voiced before, but 
its time the action groups, and the trade- 
union sub committees began the work 

McCartan Murder contd. from front page , 
said, disregarding contradictory evidence 
from Michaels friends. In fact when the 
boys were giving evidence he showed an 
utter contempt for them, shouting irritably j 
at them to speak up. Yet when McKoewn ; 
was giving evidence under cross-examinat- 
ion, Jones was ever ready to agree with hirr 

After the trial, people of the Lower Ormeav, 
angered by the verdict gathered at the 
waste gound where Michael was shot and 
painted the following statement on the 
hoarding 'Michael McCartan was murdered 
by RUC constable McKeown. He was shot 
in the back while painting slogans. The 

killers were also acquitted arid returned 
to duty after a sham trial. 
The killers of Carole Ann Kelly and Julie 
Livingstone, by plastic bullet, will never 
be identified. Robert McKeown is back on 
duty. He is armed and dangerous. 

ion, Jones was ever reaay w agree wiui mu " f r, . , » H r Jones' 

his mind made up already; insisting that 
neither of the policemen had seen Michael 
painting when this had not been proved 
and, when examining McKeown's black 
Walther pistol, he announce that it was 
shiny ie. similar to a whitened paint-brush! 
When McKeown was unable to explain 
how he would describe the shot, Jones 
again helped out. 'It was a snap shot', he 
offered, and McKeown repeated it. 


RUC out' and 'Jones is an ex-Brit' were 
painted on the walls. People walking home 
were harassed and threatened by Brits. 
During the night the hoarding was defaced 
and almost torn off the wall with 'UVF' 
daubed over walls. 

No member of the security forces has ever 
been convicted of murder in the last twelve 
years. Michael McCartan's name joins those 
of Majella O'Hare and John Boyle whose 


Juan Galende died from pneumonia on the 
80th day of his hunger strike in the infam- 
ous Madrid prison, Carabanchel. He had 
been in a coma for ten days. 
The hunger strike, over prison conditions, 
is continued in several jails by members of 
GRAPO (1st of Oct. Anti-Fascist Revolut- 
ionary Group). 

-rhu Git — mm*4M ... v&y fflec. 1 ' 




As the economic recession deepens all 
Maggie Thatcher can tell us to do is 
tighten our belts-as if there is any 
room left to tighten! The unemploy- 
ment figures in Northern Ireland have 
been soaring bringing increased poverty 
and depression, on top of which signif- 
icant cuts in public spending, in 
housing, social services and health care 
have brought many people to their 
knees. Of all the groups affected none 
have been hit more so than women- 
they have had to carry the burden of 
unemployment and public spending 

Firstly women are most likely to be 
unemployed-they work in the most 
vulnerable sectors of industry, the 
service sectors, catering, nursing etc, 
and many women workers do so on 
a part time basis— and part time 
workers are always easier to get rid of. 
In the home they are coping with 
lower wages, rising costs, poor housing 
and when governments talk about cuts 
in welfare they mean that women will 
now have to look after the sick and the 
disabled who can't have hospital beds 
the elderly who can't have homehelps, 
and the children who can't have nurs- 
eries, as well as their husbands, sons 
and daughters who can't find work. 

It is no wonder that the use of tranqu : 
ilisers has been rising at an alarming 
rate in Northern Ireland for many 

women its the only way that they can 
cope with the realities around them. 
Over the past week three groups of 
women workers have taken action 
(sometimes along with men) and 
have refused to accept the decisions 
of others. 


Women who work in the clothing and 
allied trades in Northern Ireland have been 
feeling the pinch of unemployment for 
some time now, and for many the result 
has been poverty for their families as often 
their wage is what keeps them just above 
the poverty line. In times of recession, 
women have always been hit first and hard- 
est of all workers. 

Women stitchers are sitting in at the mom- 
ent in Romac and in Crawford and Harte 
to demand assurances about their holiday 
pay and wages. This situation has arisen 
because of the closedown of two other 
firms owned by the same company— Dima 
and S.O.McCabes. These two employ 50 
people between them making garments and 
they have informed workers after a receiver 
had been called in that the firms will close 
down next week. 

Incensed by the short notice and by the 
precarious nature of their jobs, women in 
Romac and Crawforde and Harte decided 
to sit in until they had assurances that they 

were getting their weeks wages and holiday 

The owners of the firms maintain that both 
are viable but the workers union, the Natio- 
nal Union of Tailors and Garment Workers 
is not so sure .given the number of stitching 
- 1 firms which have closed in the last few 
[J months. As yet the sit in has not been 
f j given official recognition. 


While the government is busy cutting 
jobs, complaining of wastage, many work 
ers are finding that they are working 
twice as hard making up for understaff- 
ing. This very issue has prompted the 
threatened strike by nurses in Purdys- 
burn Hospital, where severe understaff- 
ing is causing problems for both staff and 
patients. The COHSE spokeperson in the 
hospital - the union that represents most 
of the staff there -said that the patients 
are receiving no psychiatric care at the 
moment as all the nursing staff can man- 
age to do is to keep the patients quiet, 
(that usually means administering large 
doses of drugs). For example on one 
three hour shift, one nurse was expected 
to take care of 39 patients on a ward, 
some of whom were diabetic, epileptic, 
and some needed special care! Another 
nurse received hospital treatment after 
being attacked in the special unit for 
violent patients - when staffing was not 
up to the required minimum. As well as 
this skin complaints have developed in 
patients from lack of baths again due to 
poor staffing. 

Understaffing has always been a problem 
but because of recent government cuts 
overtime in the hospital was axed 7 
months ago which only served to make 
the whole situation worse. This treat- 
ment has been the same in many psych- 
iatric hospitals and indicates the prioritie; 
which the government has - the mentally 
ill come very far down the list because 
often they cannot speak out for them- 
selves. Similarly the government has 
always come down hard on nurses know- 
ing that they tend to put their patients 
first and so are less likely to take strike 
action. A mass meeting and walkout is 
planned for the weekend but they will 
continue to provide emergency cover on 
the wards during any action thay may 

In the same hospital a woman died at 
the end of May from drug abuse - wher 
two drugs were prescribed simultaneou 
sly which reacted together fatally. It 
was described as 'unfortunate' that the 
doctor who prescribed the drugs was 

Continued on back page 


On June 6th the Abortipn Law Reform 
Association organised a meeting in 
London on abortion in Ireland. They 
invited speakers from the Dublin- 
based Woman's Right to Choose group 
and the Northern Ireland Abortion 
Campaign. ALRA believed that by 
organising such an evenj they would be 
able to express their solidarity with 
Irish women, and open up a public 
debate in England surrounding the 
issue. About IOO people attended the 
meeting most of whom were concerned 
with the abortion issue either through 
ALRA, the National Abortion Camp- 
aign, or the various counselling 
agencies. Some Irish women living in 
England also came along. Despite 
though their declared interest in Irish 
affairs, and the plight of the Irish 
people, the organised left and most of 
the feminist groups were conspicuous 
by their absence - Irish women's rights 
over their own fertility is perhaps too 
trivial a subject for them to raise. 

The meeting opened with a short intro- 
duction from a member of Alra explain; 
ing the purpose of the meeting, and the 
then I spoke on behalf of NIAC. I 
began by outlining the social/economic 
setup in Northern Ireland and giving 
a short history of the state. I went on ' 
to talk about the dominance of the 
churches here and how they can affect 
everyday life. After describing the law 
as it stands in N.I., the failure of the 
Stormont government and then succ- 
essive British governments since direct 
rule to extend the 67 Abortion Act 
here, I catalogued the hardships of 
women faced with unwanted pregnancy 
- travelling to England, facing the back- 
street, or some abandoning babies 
shortly after birth - all have been the 
realities of women here. 

I talked about the setting up of NIAC 
and the opposition that it faced and 
the possibilities for the future. In 
summing up I indicated tne ways in 
which British feminists might help 
their Irish sisters in their struggle- by 
lobbying MPs, educating people about 
the situation here and by support in 
all forms. 

The speaker from the Woman's Right 
to Choose group pointed out the 
situation in the South and reminded 
those present that women in Ireland 
didn't even have access to contracept- 
ion. She outlined the setting up of 
her group and of the counselling serv- 
ice they provide to help women go to 
England for abortion. She could not 
see any change in the forseeable future 
as abortion was a difficult subject to 
raise because of the alliance of Church 
and State in the South, but she added 
that safe, legal and easily available 
facilities in the North would significant- 
ly ease the burden of all Irish women 
as coming up to Belfast would be 
considerably easier than going to Eng- 

After the speeches the meeting was 
opened to allow questions and discuss- 
ion. This part of the meeting was very 
lively and stimulating. Many of the 
audience expressed amazement at the 

plight of Irish women and of their own 
lack of knowledge-many were deter- 
mined to publicise the situation at 
as best they could. Questioners wanted 
to know if any of the political parties 
in Ireland supported abortion and the 
support generally for women's rights. 

Some of the speakers came from out- 
side Britain- and spokke about the 
situation of women in Canada, USA, 
Spain and Italy, and these comparisons 
were very useful especially for the 
Irish women as they indicated possible 
futute strategies in Ireland. 

At the end of the meeting a collection 
was taken up which yielded £60-this 
was divided between the two speakers 
to take back to their groups. All in all 
it was a fruitful experience allowing 
bonds of support and solidarity to be 
firmly established and incidently it was 
the first time that NIAC and a Woman's 
Right to Choose group had actually 


Last weekend saw the preliminary 
showings of the film 'Maeve' at 
Queen's Film Theatre, before the 
film goes on to be shown at the 
Edinburgh and Cork festivals. Most 
of the film is set in Belfast, in a work 
ing class Catholic ghetto with occas- 
ional sorties to Ennis and a glimpse 
of the highlife in London. 

Basically it is the story of two sisters 
the elder, Maeve, who left Belfast at 
the beginning of the present trouble 
....she was confused and felt suffoc- 
ated by what she saw around her... 
and Roism, who stayed and still lives 
with the parents. Maeve comes back 
on a visit to her family and much of 
the film is made up of childhood 
memories of school, of her father, 
of sectarianism, of the early troubles, 
interspersed between present day 

reality of life in Belfast. Although 
slowmoving at times, the portrayal 
of life in Belfast is the film's best 
feature. The cameraman has set up 
the shots well and I was left with a 
hauntingly real and uncanny view of 
places, incidents, family relationships 
and sectarianism as it happens every 
day, and not the sensationalist head- 
line material so typical of most doc- 
umentaries, films, newspapers, and 
journals - it is worth seeing the film 
for that. 

On the other hand, the film was 
presented as a feminist film, and the 
last of the showings was for women 
only. I was surprised at this for at 
no time during the making of the 
film was there any inkling in Belfast 
that this was the case, and certainly 
no contact was made with any 
women's groups here. I think that 
this is evident in the film as it fails 
abysmally at portraying feminism, 
or its role in the present situation. 
It is a film written by a woman, 
about two women, and as such is 
very sympathetic, but as soon as 
feminist issues are raised the film 
tends to become tedious, detached, 
and coarsely done. When Maeve 
argues with her ex-boyfriend the 
discussion is a crude and simplistic 
feminism versus the national quest- 
ion one, which does a dis-service to 
both points of view. Maeve went 
away to England and has come back 
a feminist in theory at least, when 
we see her life in England she has 
not been involved in anything with 
other women, presumably her 
feminism came from books ( which 
listening to her dialogue confirms). 
She wants the space to be on her 
own and believes that England can 
give that to her, - basically though 
she just doesn't know what she want 
... and so she hardly presents a 
positive view of feminism in Britain, 
Ireland or anywhere else. 
One is left with the feeling that women in 
Ireland are not challenging these things 
already and that our struggles can be 
written out of the script. 
It is hoped to bring the completed 
film back to QFT for a public showing 
after the autumn. The film does 
generate ideas, and if you have the 
chance to see it do so. With luck and 
some money I hope that Irish feminists 
will want to make their own films and 
videos.... though lets hope that with 
grants of nearly £100,000, the 
amount it took to make Maeve, the 
pieces will reflect a feminist view of 
Irish women and their lives. 



The forgotten history of the 
Ladies' Land League 

In great contrast to the centennial celebrations which commemorated the formation of the Land League 
in 1879, its sister organisation - the Ladies' Land League - which was formed 100 years ago, on January" 
31st 1881, has received no mention at all. The justification for its recognition in our historical annals is 
nonetheless overwelming. Not only was the Ladies' Land League the first political organisation of Irish 
women but it can also be argued that without the support of the women, the Land League, far from 
triumphing, would have suffered a humiliating defeat. If the women had not taken over after the imprison- 
ment of the male leaders, the British Government would have had no reason to concede to any of the 
League's demands: it was, by that stage, defunct as an organisation with its leading members in prison 
and growing demoralisation of its supporters becoming a serious possibility. All this was to change, as a 
result of the tireless work of a group of women, whose contribution deserves more than official oblivion. 

The Land League had been formed in 1879 as a pressure 
group with the joint aims of reducing the exorbitant rents 
farmers were forced to pay, and to eventually win over 
ownership of the land for the farmers. It was a time when 
famine threatened yet again to engulf the country, but on 
this occasion the Irish leaders were determined to fight 
back and win some measure of land reform. Support was 
immediate and enthusiastic as the campaign gained strength. 
Farmers were instructed to pay rent only at 'the point of a 
bayonet' and those who were evicted for non payment were 
promised financial support by the League. Through the 
boycotting of landgrabbers it was hoped that no one would 
touch the farm of an evicted person, so forcing the landlord 
to eventually take back the original tenant. Thousands ' 
joined the League in a desperate effort to fight landlord 
power; the mood was militant and tactics rough: there 
was maiming of cattle, destruction of crops, shooting of 
landlords. By August 1881 Prime Minister Gladstone had 
been forced to introduce a Land Act in the hope that this 
would defuse the campaign. But the Act, by ignoring the 
landless, excluding those in rent arrears and failing to 
provide for any land redistribution, was too little and far 
too late. But the Government was not going to concede 
any more: to ensure that the agitation collapsed, its leaders 
began to be arrested. By October 13th, even Parnell had 
been lodged in Kilmainham Jail and on October 20th, the 
Land League was officially declared to be an illegal organ- 

"Anna Parnell would 
have worked the Land 
League revolution to a 
much better conclusion 
than her great big 

It had been obvious for some months that the Government 
would eventually resort to such a measure. The crucial 
question was whether the leadership would tamely submit 
and by so doing acquiese in the suppression of the most 
powerful mass movement Ireland had ever witnessed, or 
would they be able to devise some means whereby the 
struggle could be continued, despite the anticipated coer- 
cive laws. The solution was obvious, if unpalatable- to 
enlist the help of women. Most of the men were highly 
dubious of this 'most dangerous experiment', fearing public 
ridicule if they were to be seen relying on women. But they 
had little choice and time was running out, as Michael 
Davitt forcefully argued. Either they immediately rorm a 
Ladies' Land League as an auxilliary organisation, or they 
accepted defeat. Davitt went further: not only was 
women's involvement not a last, despairing gesture, he 
felt their participation could intensify the struggle, that 
the women could be 'more dangerous to despotism than 
men'. Andrew Kettle, once he had met Anna Parnell, found 
himself in full agreement. Considering her to have 'a better 
knowledge of the lights and shades of Irish peasant life, 
of the real economic conditions of the country, and of the 
social and political forces which had to be acted upon to 
work out the freedom of Ireland than any person, man or 
woman, I have ever met'. His conclusion was that 'Anna 
Parnell would have worked the Land League revolution 
to a much better conclusion than her great big brother'. 

A Ladies' Land League had already been formed in New 
York the previous year by another Parnell sister, Fanny, 
who was a highly regarded nationalist poet. Delia Parnell, 
the mother of the Parnell children, was its president and 
branches were formed in many other states to raise money 
for relief in Ireland. Anna, Fanny's younger sister, aged 28, 
now returned to Ireland to take up the work of organising 
Irish women. The day after the formation of the Ladies' 
Land League, Davitt was rearrested and on his journey 
back to Portland Jail he comforted himself by specialting 
about this mighty 'power' that Forster, Chief Secretary 

for Ireland, would now have to reckon with. 

For their part, the women were determined to ensure that 
they would be politically effective. It was an unprecedentr 
ed opportunity for women to stake a claim to be consid- 
ered as political equals and they wanted to succeed. Anna 
was quickly urging women to learn to depend only on 
themselves, to do things for themselves and to organise 
themselves. No more were they going to rely on male 
support. In her memoirs 'The Land League: Tale of a Great 
Sham' Anna makes it plain that she believed the Land 
League could become the vehicle by which landlord power 
would be destroyed and out of that victory she looked 
forward to the arising of a mass movement of men and 
women which would have the power to win national indep- 
endence. She did not believe in piece meal reform and for 
the next eighteen months, as the guiding spirit of the Ladies 
Land League, she attempted to mould the campaign into 
a 'programme of a permanent resistance until the aim of the 
League shall be attained'. 

An organisation overhaul of the Land Leagues records was 
their first task, once they discovered the chaotic disorder 
of the headquarters. It was impossible to tell how the 
campaign was being conducted around the countryside as 
branch records were either out of date or non existent, so 
the women devised their 'Book of Kells'-which was a record 
of every estate, including information on rents, the character 
of the landlord and the spirit of the people. Davitt later 
praised it as the most perfect system that could be imagined. 
An executive of 21 women was selected, with a reserve of 
women ready to take the place of anyone who might be 

Women organisers toured the country, organising relief, 
attending eviction scenes where they urged the people to 
stand firm against the landlords and arranging for the build- 
ing of huts as shelter for those who did suffer eviction. 
Branches multiplied as women responded to the call: by the 
end of 1881 there were over 500 branches of the Ladies' 
Land League. Not surprisingly the women activists were 
condemned by the Catholic Church and sneered at by the 
press. Archbishop McCabe thundered against those who 


I 'nionist propaganda poster denouncing the Land League 
and its use of 'the Boycott'. 

upon. Parnell promised to use his influence to end the agitat- 
ion and in return the Government undertook to amend the 
Land Act and release the prisoners. Forster and Cowper 
resigned in protest at these concessions. 

an "open organisation 

in which the ladies will 
not take part" 

Parnell and Davitt met on May 4th. Davitt was jubilant at the 
victory that had been extracted from the Government and 
praised the work of the women. Parnell retorted that as far 
as he was concerned they had done much harm and had to 
be disbanded. If they were not, he threatened to leave public 
life. But months of negotiation followed before the final 
dissolution of the Ladies' Land League; months in which the 
women were the pawns in a political intrigue between Parnell 
and some of the more radical members of the Land League 
who wanted the land campaign to be continued and who 
therefore voted for the retention of the Ladies' Land League. 
Only when Parnell finally agreed to the formation of a new 
organisation - the Irish National League - unblushingly 
described as an "open organisation in which the ladies will 
not take part"-did they drop any pretence of wanting to 
ensure that women would continue to have the right to be 
involved in political activity. For their part the women saw no 
reason to remain in existence: once the men were released 
from jail, it was obvious that they would again take over the 
leadership. Women lacked the right to vote or to hold office 
and were therefore unable to challenge the influence of the 
politicians. For Anna Parnell, this was also a time of personal 

tragedy. Her beloved sister Fanny had died suddenly in July, 
and news of her death, combined with physical exhaustion, 
precipitated a nervous breakdown from which it took 
several months for her to recover. All along, she had distrusted 
the sincerity of the men, believing their militant words to be 
mere rhetoric. She did not want to be part of a movement 
which deceived the people, content to stop short of full scale 
land reform. She was also hostile to parliamentary wheeling 
and dealing, believing liberal promises of support for a Home 
Rule Bill to be mere fiction, and Parnell's subsequent move 
towards parliamentarianism a sell out of national aspirations 
and a denial of the growing power of the mass movement. 

Before she died in 191 1, Anna became a supporter of Sinn 
Fein and she was enthusiastic of Inghinnidhe na hEireann, 
formed in 1900 by Maud Gonne because she found that no 
nationalist organisation would admit her as a member. Tim 
Harrington, the President of the National League, bluntly told 
Maud that women were not permitted into the organisation 
because past experience had demonstrated that women 'could 
not be controlled'. 

There are many reasons why Irish men would prefer not to 
acknowledge the existence of the Ladies' Land League, not least 
because of the shameful way in which the women were swept 
aside once they were no longer needed. These women pioneers 
defied a British State as intransigent and inhuman a State as the 
one we face today: defied an hypocritical Church, worried about 
the 'modesty' of women who fought alongside a desperate people 
but which turned a blind eye to the prostitution, the conduct of 
the British soldiers in the streets each night and the thousands 
upon thousands of Irish women who had been evicted from their 
homes; and they defied popular pressure in stepping outside of' 
their traditional roles as women, in order to defend the rights of 
the poor and the dispossessed. 

What did they do for women? 

The Women's Political Association 
which promises to promote any wom- 
an who runs for an elected public 
position irrespective of her politics is 
well pleased with the results of the '8 1 
election in the South. There are more 
women TDs now than at any time 
previously, (eleven). But what do they 
represent or who do they represent? 
Only one of the women TDs elected 
said that she saw it as an important 
part of her role to raise and push 
issues of importance to women such 
as family planning, law reform, child 
care etc. Liz Noonan, the lesbian fem- 
inist who ran in Dublin, was refused 
promotion by the Women's Political 
Association, showing up what their 
commitment to women really means. 
She ran on a radical programme cover- 
ing the needs of women at work, the 
rights of lesbian mothers to keep 
their children, an end to discrimination 
on the grounds of lesbianism and she 
also canvassed in support of the H 
Block prisoners demands. The 
campaign was useful from a propaganda 
point of view, raising issues never 
before raised in such a public manner. 
However, it would be encouraging 
illusions in the election system to see 
it as anything more than that. The 
financial obstacles to competing with 
the big money parties were very 
obvious and show up the fallacy of the 
notion that everyone is equ/a in the 
'democratic' process. She got 357 
votes, more than many of her support- 
ers expected, but the main value of 
the campaign was getting new ideas 
across to people on the canvass, 
speaking to people at their doors about 

the issue of lesbianism for example 
and personalising the issue by bringing 
them face to face with a woman not 
afraid to dec/are herself a lesbian. 

The Fine Gael party laid its respects 
to the women's movement in the 
most traditional and insidious way by 
effectively offering a (low) wages for 
housework programme. They promised 
women £3. 00 a week per child and 
tax concessions to those who stayed 
at home. A/though Fianna Fail spent 
thousands of pounds advertising in 
the papers showing that tax concess- 
ions would be at the expense of the 
wage earner, most of the political 
commentators agreed that this Fine 
Gael tax promise was the single most 
important factor in pushing up their 
vote so dramatically. The net result 
of a wages for housework policy is 
to institutionalise the individual 
woman in the home and to confirm 
her role as one of domestic servant 
and full time child minder. The 
anarchist alternative is to socialise 
housework and child care, involving 
all members of the community and 
a/lowing women to fulfill all the 
roles open to them rather than being 
seen only as wives and mothers. This 
involves spending money on communr 
nity based nurseries and creches, 
communal canteens etc, rather than 
offering women a sop to retain the 
status quo. So in answer to the 
question— what will the new TDs do 
for women?— the answer is nothing. 
Women will have to get together and 
do things for themselves. 


Terrified of a repeat of last week's sudden 
release of prisoners from the 'Crum, the RUC 
packed the court in Armagh town on Tuesday 
when Shirley Devlin, an ex prisoner, Breige 
Ann McCaughly and Eileen McGonigle at 
present serving sentences in Armagh Gaol, 
appeared before the court. 

They are sueing the Secretary of State for 
assault and brutality which occurred on 7th 
February, 1980. The women prisoners told 
the court how over 30 male screws walked in at 
lunchtime along with Scott the Governor, who 
proceeded to tell them about a cell search. 
Shirley Devlin made the point that there had 
never been male screws involved in these 
searches before, she said that the women were 
moving towards the association room when 
the male screws grabbed them, dragging them 
across the floor, punching and beating them. 
The Judge, Frank Russell then took the i 
decision to continue the trial until 6.00pm, 
that evening. He probably thought that he 
would not be putting the women out too much 
and it must have cost a lot of tax payers money 
to keep such security on. The case will probab- 
ly continue for another few days and we can 
expect the usual verdict. 

Memories of Mount joy 

Over the past years a few minor 
changes have been made in Mountjoy 
prison, for instance, the present mat- 
ron; though strict, is better than the 
last one, but changes like most of the 
day to day things inside are trivial and 
only given importance because there 
is nothing else happening inside. Thus 
small things can mean a lot. One of 
the first things the present matron did 
was to re-allow matches and lighters. 
These had been stopped several years 
back when a MALE prisoner in St.Pats 
set fire to his cell'ie: nothing to do 
with the women. This means that 
prisoners who have any of the daily 
allowance (10 weekdays, 20 weekends 
left can smoke at night. 
The medical services are appalling. 
The story of the anorexiac is bad 
enough but what the junkies go thro- 
ugh is perhaps worse. Roughly 20% 
of the women in the past 12 months 
are on heavy drugs when they come 
in they are cold turkeyed. If they are 
lucky they get an aspirin and that is 
all. There is no provision for treat- 
ment of any kind either physical or 
psychological... .we have reason to 
believe that the new psychologist 
might change that but it remains to be 
seen. As for other illness treatment is 
minimal to say the least. Most women 
in for sentences over a month exper- 
ience irregularities in their periods 
which can take the form of periods 
lasting up to three weeks or arriving 
every two weeks. Because the doctors 
are all men and very unsympathetic, 
few women will go to them about such 
things and just suffer, some become 
anaemic. If it is raining during the 
exercise period there is no fresh air 
for the day and perhaps for several days 
if the rain comes on consecutive days 
at that time. 

The heating in the winter was virtually 
non existent for the two winters that 
I spent in there. Thus not only are you 
freezing all day long but if you are 
studying at night you have to do this 
in bed as it is just too cold to sit up. 
I got chilblains on both hands, both 
winters and many women had them on 
their feet which made walking painful. 

At least 90% of the women prisoners 
in Mountjoy are illiterate and there are 
completely inadequate facilities for 
them to learn to read and write. 

Fire precautions are pitiful. No one can 
remember there ever being a fire drill. 
All mattresses are foam and highly 
flammable and give off toxic fumes. 
There was a fire cell death in Limerick 
prison in 1980 (a man) and the 
coroner's verdict riders on the necess- 
ity of proper fire precautions. In 
Mountjoy Female there is one exting- 
uisher in the corridor and one fire hose 
The hose was disconnected two years 
ago because it dripped all the time and 
left a mess. Easter 8 1 there was a fire 
in a cubicle used for storing shoe pol- 
ish, STs, cleaning materials etc (highly 
inflammable materials). The women 
were taken down to the recreation 
room for a while and then herded back 
into smoke and fume filled cells ans 
and locked up for the night. The 
women in cells near the cubicle could 

not even see the doors of their cells 
clearly from their beds (a cell is approx 
10 feet long) windows in the cells 
open roughly 4M> to 5 inches if you 
are lucky! One of the women locked 
up at this time is a severe asthmatic. 
During the fire there was total chaos 
and hysteria in both prisoners and 
jailers. All except one jailer. What 
would have happened if that one had 
not been on duty and the fire had beer 
bigger? It should be remembered that 
this fire took place not too long after 
the Stardust fire tragedy in Dublin 
where 48 people died. The material 
in the mattresses in all cells in the 
Republic (including police cells) is 
the same as what was at the Stardust. 
At night all cells are double locked 
and after 9pm the keys are transfered 
to the officers mess for 'security'. If 
there was a fire after 9pm the keys 
would have to be brought back and 
in that space of time nothing could be 
done to rescue women in the cells. 


This applies to all prisoners but is used 
particulary against long term prisoners 
Letters with political content will be 
stopped particulary if the writer 
does not visit as well so the prisoner 
comes to believe she has lost friend- 
ships. The rule of ex prisoners not 
being allowed to write or visit is 
really cruel for many of the women, 
most of whose friends have been 

Limerick prison is used for female 
political prisoners and non political 
prisoners. From all accounts it is 
worse than the 'Joy because there is 
absolutely no work or school or any- 
thing to break the monotony. 
Prisoners who cause trouble in Limer- 
ick are occasionally transfered to the 
'Joy and vice versa. Also if the 'Joy 
gets very overcrowded. At these times 
prisoners are given no warning they 
are being transfered and neither are 
their friends and family so visits and 
letters are lost. When sent back to the 
'Joy again no warning is given so 
people go all the way to Limerick for 
visits only to find the prisoner is back 
in Dublin. 

It is most unusual for prisoners to give 
birth in prison nowadays: non political 
prisoners are sent to hospital. This was 
not the case for Rose Dugdale. Much 
was made in the media about the 
special birth cell. This was all lies. She 
had her son in an ordinary cell and the 
light was so poor screws had to stand 
around with torches for the doctors to 
see. In Mountjoy some of the pregnant 
women are encouraged to go to pre- 
natal classes in the hospital, but not all. 
The criteria for this privilege is hard to 
understand, not appearing to be based 
on any logic. But then that is the same 
with practically everything in there! 
In fact this pure lack of logic is one of 
their strongest weapons because you 
never know what is going to happen 

Work has begun on a new women's 
prison at Wheatfields, an area on the 

outskirts of Dublin between Ballyfer- 
mot and Clondalkin. It has accommod- 
ation for sixty women.Until it was 
announced Mountjoy was always 
half empty; since then the 'Joy has 
been packed to full capacity. 
Obviously this is to convince the 
public of the need for a bigger prison 
Its not that more women are being 
convicted, but that less are given 
probation or suspended sentences. In 
fact all the prison statistics are 
crazy. For example if you take an 
annual prison population of say 100 
you can be sure that 50% or more are 
women doing several sentences in one 
year. The recidivism rate is very high 
with women spending several months 
inside and the same ones going in 
year after year. 


Nearly 200 postcards have now 
been sent off to the Spanish 
Minister of Justice demanding 
an amnesty for all those women 
on trial for having or being 
involved in performing 
abortions., and calling for safe 
abortions to be legalised in 

The response to the postcards 
was much better than expected, 
many were taken within two 
days, and it has been decided 
to print our own postcards 
for safe, legal abortion in North- 
ern Ireland as part of a 
propaganda strategy planned 
for the autumn. 

If you want to protest about 
the Spanish trial the address is 
Ministerio de Justica, San 
Bernardo 45, Madrid 8, Spain. 
Some postcards are still 
available in the bookshop. 
Others can be obtained by 
writing to National Abortion 
Campaign, 30 Camden Road, 
London NW1. 

not at the inquest to answer questions. 
It was declared that the doctor was 
unaware that a combination of the two 
drugs was fatal - despite the fact that in 
the past few years medical journals had 
carried reports to that effect. 
The woman Clare Campbell was admit* 
ed to Kuraysourn suffering from post- 
natal depression and died three weeks 
later. If doctors spent more time talkinc 
and listening to their patients instead of 
using them as guinea pigs or keeping 
them quiet with drugs Clare Campbe 
might still be alive. 


As part of the Civil Servants dispute 
over pay, eight women from the 
Vehicle Testing Centre at Balmoral 
Road, came out on June 12th-the 
first of a series of pickets and token 
strikes leading up to an all out strike 
at the end of the month. Workers at 
the centre voted 21-6 for an all out 

Work has been disrupted at the centre 
no appointments are being made, no 
post is allowed through, nothing is 
being collected and PSV forms for 
lorries and large vehicles are not being 
processed. The women have been 
fairly successful in stopping the large 
goods lorries from entering the centre- 
they estimate around 75% successful, 
those who did force their way through 
belonged to small businesses. The 
T&GWU have already come out in 
support of the strike. 
Disruption at Balmoral Road is likely 
to continue and the campaign will 
continue throughout the North's 15 
centres with a proposed telephone ban. 
The women are demanding a 15% 
improvement with an underpinning 
minimum increase of £10 per week. 
The British Government has refused to 
negotiate or allowed the unions the right 
to go to arbitration. On top of that the 
Government is cutting 75,000 jobs over 
the next three years-that's around 3,000 
in Northern Ireland putting more 
workers on the dole. 


Ever wondered why your doctor, if 
he/she was in favour of contraceptives 
pushed the pill at you and nothing 
else? Ever wondered why so many 
female sterilisations happen and fewer 
male when vasectomy is a much simp- 
ler and safer procedure? 
So did we— but we thought it might 
have been pressure on the doctor of 
time or lack of knowledge.... but we 
may have been wrong. 

It seems that the Health Boards (who 
pay doctors per patient, per visit, per 
prescription) don't pay a fee for any 
contraceptive prescribed EXCEPT the 
pill. Consequently if a doctor spends 
time telling you about diaphragms, 
sheaths or lUDs s/he won't get paid 
for it— writing a prescription for the 
pill then 'becomes a lot easier and a lot 
more lucrative. 

Similarly, t doctor referring a woman 
for sterilisation receives a fee BUT not 
if he refers a man. So next time you 
consult your doctor about contracepU 
ion ask him/her if the above is true 
and ask them what they are doing 
about it. ■ 

MaJone Place 

If you plan to have a baby in Belfast, then 
after 30th June you will almost certainly 
have to book into one of the large mater- 
nity hospitals in the area-the Royal, the 
Jubilee, the Ulster Hospital or the Mater. 
Home confinements are extremely rare and 
when the last small maternity unit closes 
another area of choice for pregnant women 
will go. 

Malone Place Hospital, which, despite, its 
name is located not in the wealthier 
suburbs of the city but at the end of Sandy 
Row, was a general practitioner maternity 
unit. The service it offered enabled a 
woman tobe supervised throughout her 
pregnancy and confinement by her own 
doctor, with the actual delivery being done 
by the midwives who staffed the unit. Any 
woman booked into Malone Place was 
able to go along and meet the staff who 
would be delivering her baby, a fact that 
reassured many women. The size of the 
unit (32 beds) and the attitudes of the 
staff ensured that women felt relaxed 
and confident about the care that they 
were going to receive. "A home from home 
home" was how one woman described it. 

However over the past few years the num- 
bers of women using Malone Place had 
declined, making it particulary vulnerable 
to public spending cuts. This decline was 
partly due to fewer GPs being interested 
in obstetric work but also because many 
women were not informed that Malone 
Place was an option open to them, one 
woman stated that "my own doctor was 
very reluctant to refer me to Malone 
Place and gave various reasons that implied 
it wasn't the safest place to have a baby, 
particulary a first baby". He informed 
her that if anything went wrong she would 
never "forgive herself. Given that many 
GPs may have shared that view, its not 
| surprising that numbers using the unit 
dropped off. Women and doctors who did 
use Malone Place though had complete 
confidence in its services and safety and 
obviously any woman whose pregnancy 
indicated potential problems was not 
booked in there. 

The views of this GP reflect an attitude 
that safe healthy deliveries can only take 
place in highly technological surroundings. 
Yet the majority of childbirths are normal 
and whilst no one would deny the necess- 


The last Unity Meeting took place on June 
6th- the theme was nuclear power. The 
turnout was very small and so it was decided 
to discuss the subject at a future date 
(probably the September meeting) and to 
get the banned BBC film 'The War Game' 
for that discussion. 

A Bookcollective meeting took place on 30th 
May and it is hoped that a book, with the 

ty of having technological 
back up for those women and babies who 
need it, the increasing use of medical inter- 
vention in normal deliveries has caused 
many women to question some of the 
practices in the larger maternity units. 
Procedures like the artificial induction or 

acceleration" of labour can, in themselves 
cause complications at the delivery stage. 
These processes coupled with the increas- 
ing use of foetal monitors often make the 
whole experience of childbirth more 
painful and distressing for women. Increas- 
ed pain means an increase in the demand 
for pain relieving drugs like pethedine, 
which can affect the baby. 

A growing body of opinion believes that 
technology should only be used when appropriate 
and as a back up to assist the skills of the mid- 
wives and doctors, not to replace them. 

In this context, many of the women who opted 
for Malone Place did so because they wanted to 
expereince a birth that was allowed to progress 
naturally, in a situation where they knew the 
staff around them. 

Compared to Britain,women in Northern Ireland 
already have fewer options than their sisters 
who can choose between various schemes when 
it comes to childbirth. The domino scheme for 
example, allows a woman to be supervised 
throughout pregnancy by a doctor and midwife 
and she only has to go to hospital for the actual 
delivery and can return home within 24 hours. 
Home confinements are much more common 
than here, and there are GP units still in operat- 
ion. These options, though have been fought 
for by women and by those doctors and midwives 
who recognise that childbirth is not an illness 
requiring medical interference and who believe 
that women themselves should be allowed some 
degree of choice and control over the process of 

The administrators who decided to close Malone 
Place made finance the basis of their decisions 
rather than any consideration of its services in 
other terms. The fact that women weren't 
consulted for their opinion surprises no one- 
after all, we are only consumers of the NHS! 

ADDRESS Association of Maternity 
Services, Secretary, Mrs.A. 
Taylor, West Hill Cottage, 
Exmouth Place, Hastings, 

theme of 'changes' in Northern Irish womens 
lives over the past ten years will be out by 
Christmas. This will be possible because the 
collective hope to publish it themselves as 
opposed to going to a commercial publisher. 
So far the content is wide ranging-if you 
would like to be involved in any way contact 
them c/o the Womens Centre. 
For further details of all womens meetings 
contact the womens centre... 18 Donegall St., 
Belfast. Tel: 43363 



I cWoi^fcS. ... Ae A*.a.*cWi£+s we oppose W au^oRjfca arii 
^ ocp\o\taVicr) ol t^vs &«cife+»< , a ' 'advocate one eLw&~ 


JOE McDOIMIMELL became the fifth 
hunger-striker to die in the prisoners bid 
to win their five demands. He died on 
July 8th, on the 61st day of his strike. 
There were immediate protests with 
marches, rallies and some rioting. The 
response from the Brits showed their will- 
ingness to shoot dead anyone who took 
to the streets. 

Within 2 days three people were killed, 
two teenage boys and a woman. 
16 Year old John Dempsey was shot as he 
threw petrol bombs at the Andersonstown 
Bus Depot. Nora McCabe, who stood at 
the corner of her street, with two neigh- 
bours, was hit in the face by a plastic 
bullet. She died two days later. David 
Barrett was standing at the front door of 
his home, when 2 jeep loads of Brits open- 
ed up indiscriminately. Flax St Barracks 
had been fired on minutes previously and 
the jeeps were^fint outon a raid 



At the funeral of Joe McDonnell, the 
Brits and RUC launched a snatch on the 
'firing party' who had given a volley 
salute over his coffin. After changing 
clothing in a 'safe house', there was a 
shoot-out. Two people, a man and a 
woman, were arrested. In a 'follow-up' 
operation 4 more people were arrested. 
Some youths attempted to drive off the 
Brits who had moved into the side street 
for the snatch. Amid flying stones and 
plastic bullets, the youths were pushed 

There followed an attack on the funeral 
procession itself. About 40 Brits and over 
10 RUC jeeps surrounded an end section 
of the procession. They fired indiscrimin- 
ately at children and parents, old and 
young. In the ensuing panic many were 
injured by either falling in the rush or 
being hit 

As well as the propaganda coup of scoop- 
ing some of the 'firing party', there was a 
deliberate attempt to terrorise those who 
had comeout to express support for the 
hunger strikers, and pay respect to the 
courage of Joe McDonnell. 
Occuringjust two days before the big 
loyalist Orange parades, it has also the 
effect of appeasing calls for 'tougher 
security' from the DUP, Official Union- 
ists and UDA. 


Just four days before Joe McDonnell's 
death, the protesting prisoners elaborated 
their demands. Among the most significant 
was "We would warmywelcome the intro- 
duction of the 5 demands for all prisoners 
. . . [This] would not mean the adminis- 
tration forfeiting control of the prison. . . 
the prisoner could have his (or her) dignity 

restored and cease to occupy the role of 
established zombie." 
Around this time the Catholic church 
again tried 'to be seen doing something'. 
Previously O'Fiaich and Daly, and now the 
Commission for Justice and Peace, took 

part in secret talks with the NIO and the 
prisoners. In fact not only did they allow 
themselves to be tricked, but the illusion of 
progress created and then dashed hopes 

among supporters. 

The refusal of the NIO to negotiate directly 
with the prisoners until the strike is called 
off is an obvious ruse to defeat the protest. 
The increasing attacks on the streets, and 
the visit of the minister responsible for 
prisons (Allison) to the USA, show better 
the intransigence of the government, and 
the enormous task it faces. 


So GARRET FITZGERALD is the new t-shock;a prime 
minister with a clean record and as yet untarnished image. 
Fitzgerald is going to be a busy man for the next year or 
two, trying to drag the Irish capitalist economy out of its 

bankrupcy and put into force the management of the 

new Ireland as decided by the world bank, the I.M.F., 
N.A.T.O., E.E.Cwhile at the same time keeping discon- 
tent down by stopping people getting together. 

But Fitzgerald knows what he is doing. He's been 
secretly training since 1977 (the year he became leader 
of Fine Gael) as a member of the Trilateral Commission 
and Bilderberg groups. These are exclusive, secret, and 
private clubs of top bankers, industrialists, media figures, 
politicans, and reactionary union bosses from N.America, 
W. Europe, and Japan. They meet from time to time(the 
Bilderberg group met recently in Dublin) to discuss their 
view of the world which is invariably the outlook of the 
biggest financial and industrial corporations in the world. 
They arrive at some sort of concensus as to how the west- 
ern world should be governed, should be controlled: They 
manage the social change of our present and our future. 
The task of politicians in the Trilateral Commission and 

Bilderburg groups is to implement the decisions made thro- 
ugh the discussions of top industrialists... .they must imple- 
ment the decisions yet make it look like democracy - our 
choice! Managing democracy, managing social change. To 
understand why the Irish economy is up to its ears in debts to 
the IMF, why Ireland is the dumping ground for every shit 
industry imaginable, why unemployment is going up and . 
up, money spending power down and down, laws more and 
more severe, prisons full - the reasons for all this are to be 
found within the policies decided at these secret meetings 
of the world elite. And what is the job of super-clean 
Fitzgerald? He has been attending meetings of the Trilateral 
Commission and Bilderburg as a member since 1977, and in 
1980 was elected to the executive committee of the TC* 
(the executive committee makes policy decisions and imple- 
ments commission proposals). Fitzgerald also helps formul- 
ate their political documents and only this year presented a 
report on the "Trilateral Commission and the Middle East!' 
Mr. Super Clean must have just forgotten to mention all 
that during his electioneering.. ..after all, it is a state secret! 

*To replace Executive Committe member Mary Robinson 
who resigned in 1980. Why did she resign? After all, she had 
spent nearly a decade in the secret club helping implement 
US government policy concerning the Shah of Iran, South 
African Aparheid and third world massacres. What got 
through to her in 1980? 

If you are one of those living in a flat or bedsitter in Belfast, the 
chances are that you are forking out between £ 10-20 per week for 
second rate accomodation, often with no security of tenure. It is 
estimated that there are about 10,000 flats and bedsits in Belfast, all 
owned by private landlords, and for many single people, newly-wed 
couples, students and nurses the "privatesector" is their only hope of 
getting any accomodation, since many cannot afford to buy their 
own homes or do not'have enough "points" to qualify for public 

In Belfast, the majority of properties converted into flats are in the 
University area, Cliftonville and parts of the East. Many of these 
buildings were aquired by landlords for a relatively small sum and 
then converted into scperate dwellings, often without planning perm- 
ission and in flagrant breech of fire and health regulations. The land- 
lords arc interested only in the fast buck, and know that the author- 
ities turn a blind eye to their activities - such is the housing crisis in 
this city. 

Some of the dwellings are disgusting pits, and yet many people are 
paying through the nose to live in them. £20 a week is the asking 
price for a small flat consisting of one bedroom, living-room, kitchen 
and toilet. If you arc looking for something for less, the chances are 
that you will be offered something that is an insult to human dignity. 
Dampness, rat infestation, intimidation and rent exploitation are the 
lot of those living in the 'private sector! 

Belfast is not the only city in this country where this type of racket- 
eering exists. In Dublin, landlords are organised in a powerful lobby, 
and are currently trying to blackmail the authorities into allowing 
them to increase rents. In Galway, a city which has grown fat through 
the boom created by the student and tourist influx, some enterprising 
parishes have put the family car onto the street and converted the 
garage into "self contained flats'.' Hardly surprising that tuberulosis, a 
disease that had been virtually eradicated has now reappeared in 
young men and women living in sheds and garages. In Coleraine- 
Portrush - Portstewart, students at the new University pay, say, £20 
during the college term, but are expected to fork out £60 - £100 









during the tourist season. The majo 
bags and, leave. 

laturally, pack their 

So then it is obvious that Ireland has more than it's fair share of 
bums and bloodsuckers who are into making a killing out of a basic 
human need like housing. They get away with it because they are 
allowed to, because the whole power structure is on their side, and 

because many tennants are weak, uninformed and unorganised. 
Since it seems to be the policy of both regimes in Ireland to do away 

with public housing over a period of years, matters can only get 
worse. The state housing budgets are being cut; housing stocks arc 
being sold off ; and private landlords have been allowed to increase 
rents in the controlled sector by up to 1015% since 1978, in the vain 
hope that the latter would be given the "incentive" to repair and 
improve their properties. The "private sector',' which up until now 

had been in decline, is now to be given a shot in the arm in order to 
help "solve" a part of the housing crisis. 

The only effective way in which to counter the power of the landlor- 
ds imd those people such as estate agents and'solicitors who 'front' 
for them in Belfast, is for tenants to organise themselves into their 
own lobby and action groups. Such a group cannot be built overnight 
it will take time, a lot of dedication and indeed many problems to 
overcome before it can get off the ground. I believe a flatdwellers 
group should take up the following in the short and medium term: 

CI) Research the extent of the plight of those in privately rented 


(2) Take up individual cases where landlords step over the mark, 
giving encouragement and practical support to flat dwellers. 

(3) Campaign for legislative change and in particular on laws guaran- 
teeing security of tenure and adherence to fire and health regulations. 

In the longer term I would see the need for such a group to wage war 
on the whole concept of privately rented accomodation. NOBODY 
should be allowed to make money out of human need. 

A number of us are interested in working towards building such a 
group in Belfast. Shortly we hope to organise a general meeting. If 
you are interested please contact us at: 
FLAT DWELLERS ACTION, c /o 7, Winetavern St, Belfast 1. 

A second attempt in recent months by 
hunger strike supporters to have a rally at 
trie City Hall was attacked by the RUC. 34 
people were arrested, with many more 
being dragged and thrown onto the road(!) 
from the footpath, where they had dared 
to sit down. 

About 200 people had gathered for the 
advertised rally , which had also attracted 
5 local councillors, and one from London. 
Perhaps this, with the increased number of 
cameras present, explains the restraint (sic) 
shown by an otherwise viscious sectarian 

force. At the previous rally, the protestors 
were batoned from the City Hall grounds 
and towards Castle Street. 

On this occasion, an RUC inspector inform 
ed one of the councillors who was about 
begin speaking through a loudhailer that 
the rally would be permitted if no one 
moved and no one spoke! (Paisley would 
certainly lose his charisma if he were to 
lose his voice at his regular city hall rallies). 
When a councillor proceeded to speak, 
the loudhailer was snatched off him and a 
sit-down on the pavement began. For 
about 20 minutes those sitting down were 
dragged onto the road or along the paveme 
nt. Many were pushed or thrown, but they 
kept coming back to sit down. If they 
weren't going to have a peaceful rally, they 
were goingjto have a peaceful sit-down. 
But the things in green put 'plan B' into 
operation — arrest and bundle into a jeep 
those who persist. Elderly men, young 
women and men were bundled into jeeps, 
including a 14 year old girl — 34 in all. 
Others, who had previous arrests weren't 

sure if they wanted one and were r 
back towards the tech. A column of RUC 
boxed them in against the shops and 'esco- 
rted' them towards Castle St, and part wav 
up Divis St. At this point one stone was 
thrown at the RUC, whereby thev opened 
up and fired three plastic bullets at the 
still walking crowd. Despite the record of 
these euphemistically named 'plastics', 
no-one was injured badly. 
All 34 were released later that night and 
appeared in court on Monday morning. 
After the trials were put back a week, the 
crowd of supporters who had turned up 
headed for a press conference at the 
Europa. They had in fact become a demon- 
stration, numbering about 100. Chanting 
and singing, they marched up Chichester 
St, were forced around the back of the 
City hall by a nervous and uncertain RUC 
and continued up Howard St to the 
Europa. On two occasions the RUC tried 
to stop the demonstration, but people 
just crossed the road, walked on a bit and 
rejoined — There was a City Centre 
demonstration after all! 

Dear Friends, 

I had never visited Ulster before, but had worked 
out a few ideas of my own regarding a form of 
radical autonomy for the province, ideas which 
turned out to be a libertarian development of the 
proposals for an independant Ulster as put fowarc 
by the New Ulster Political Research Group. 
Since my visit to the province I feel more confus- 
ed than ever, but not any more than most people 
over there, stricken as they are by the sectarian 
ghetto mentality. 

There clearly is no easy answer as I had previous- 
ly thought - I had fallen into the trap of thinking 
the purpose of a new strategy is to please oneself 
with a neat, tidy theory (ie. Dogmatism). The 
central idea which must be got rid of is that of 
blaming British imperialism for all the ills of Ulst- 
er. A good little Irish people, a big bad British 
imperialism. With such ideas, one can attack the 
symbols of British occupation, but it would be 
far better to grapple with the real problems that 
make our lives impossible. It is not the lack of 
independance that has caused the disappearance 
of traditional ways of life - they have simply 
been unable to resist the growth of capitalist 
production relationships. Maybe there are some 
around who maintain that capitalism is British, 
but even in Britain it is rather American, Japan- 

It is obvious that an Ulster state would be subser- 
vient to the same thing - capitalism in Ulster, 
even if it called itself socialist. The modern state 
is simply the apparatus of political domination 
for the class in power. The state cannot be separ- 
ated from the production relationship which 
created it, and which it creates every day. If there 
is an occupation of Ulster, it is an occupation by 
the capitalists. If they are British, that is a local 
pecularity. Frontiers and borders are papei 
screens in the face of the growth of capitalist 
pr oduction relationships on an international! 
level. The independance of an Ulster state can 
only really interest the Ulster middle class. It is 
not from Britain that Ulster must be delivered, 
but from the form of social and economic organis 
ation which has made Ulster a British province. 
Capitalism has no frontiers, for itls logic and the 
condition of its survival is it's growth. Marx said, 
"The proletariat are not limited by country'.' 
Today, capitalism is not limited by country and 
the workers have no country, anywhere. 
On the subject of cultural and ethnic identity, 
which I discussed at length with different comer- 
ades, it seems that there is no longer any real 
Irish culture, only the ruins of a great and heroic 
past. There is no longer any social reality, life in 
Ulster/Ireland/Britain is the same as anywhere 
else - work, buy, consume, die 

people no longer have any say in their everyday 
lives. Irish culture in Ulster exists only in a fossil- 
ised form. If there is to be an Ulster identity it 
will come from a combination of free individuals, 
recreating a richness of individual behaviour. 
So what possibilities exist for the developing of a 
truly libertarian struggle in Ulster? Against the 
sectarian ghetto mentality, Anarchists in Belfast 
have an almost impossible task, so it makes sense 
to start in the place where this mentality is at it's 
weakest — inside the prisons. This does not mean 
supporting those who went from the republican 
side of the fence and simply ignoring those who 
went in from the loyalist side. All prisoners are 
worthy of our solidarity, and there is absolutely 
no reason whatsoever to assume that one side 
will be more likely to be sympathetic than the 
other to Anarchism, and to genuine libertarian 
struggle in Ulster. Consistent material and moral 
support for these prisoners is vital for when they 
are released they will be pressurised into rc-adop« 
ting the sectarian ghetto mentality, whether 
republican or loyalist. Having already given a fair 
amount of support to those from the republican 
side, and almost none to those from the loyalist 
side, we should seek to create an oppertunity to 
redress the imbalance, and show our true 
position as Anarchists. 
Reactions next issue "El Faro" 

Military custody was first established in May 1972 
when Mountjoy Prison was burned and emergency 
accomodation was required for civilian prisoners. 
The Curragh prision was opened under temporary 
legislation which has been renewed on three occas- 
ions. It was last renewed in 1980 for a period of 
three years. 

At present the Curragh is the only prison in Europe which 
is located within an Army camp, operated solely by Army 
(and armed) personell and under the jurisdiction of the 
Department of Defence and yet it's sole occupants are civil- 
ian prisoners. 

Noel Lynch was released from the Curragh on the 3rd. April 
1981. He is the longest serving Curragh prisoner as he was 
transferred there on the day it opened for civilian prisoners, 
that was November 9th, 1973. He had been a founding mem- 
ber of the Prisoners' Union in Portlaoise Prison in 1972 and 
had been elected it's president. 
Union. Demands Presented. 

In his capacity as President of the Union, he met the then 
Minister for 'Justice' Patrick "prisoners have no rights, only 
privileges" Cooney in Portlaoise Prison in August 1973 . 
Noel Lynch presented to him the 1 1 demands of the Union 
- All of which were reasonable. Amoungst the demands 

A call to abolish the notorious dietary punishment (then 
widely practised in Portlaoise); 
An increase in remission; 

Custodial remand time to be deducted from sentences; 
New communal visiting to accomodate domestic problems 
with screws out of earshot during visits; 
Visiting time extended from 20 minutes to 2 hours 
Special visits and letters to be made available in the event of 
social and domestic problems. 

These four demands form the basis of the 1 1 demands of the 
prisoners union. 

Cooney hyprocritically indicated his intention of introducing 
reforms, but vowed that while the prisoners remained an org- 
anised body neither Noel nor any other member of the 
Union would benefit from them. 

The Transfer. 

Shortly afterwards, in a prison reshuffle, the Provos who 
had been in the Curragh were transferred to Portlaoise pris- 
on. All the prominent members of the Union were rounded 
up and taken to the Curragh. 

Thus on November 9th, 1973, the origional function of the 
Curragh as a place of temporary accomodation was cast 
aside and the prison was transformed instead into an isolat- 
ion facilty for the disposal of 'troublemakers' who were seek- 
ing the implementation of prisoners' rights and much needed 
changes in the prison system. That is the present function of 
military custody. 


Military Custody On A Permanent basis. 

Recently there have been indications that the Government 
intend to maintain Military custody on a permanent basis 
(despite public protestations to the contrary) and even to ex- 
tend it's use.The existing facility is an old army prison with 
accomodation for a maximum of 52. 

In 1976, the coalition government constructed a new build- 
ing beside the old prison with accomodation for a hundred 
prisoners. Soldiers are billited there at present but it can be 
used for the purpose constructed at any time. Furthermore, 
in 1980 an isolation wing was constructed inside the old 

At present a new workshop is being built. The new structure 
is large, solidly built with concrete which suggests long-term 
use. Further, Military Police (who guard the prisoners) are 
being trained in teaching methods at Mountjoy Prison. Two 
long vacant teaching posts have been filled this year. All 
these developments point to the intention to use the Curragh 
Prison on a long term basis. 

The Prisoners. 

At present there are 25 prisoners in the Curragh. This is more 
or less the daily average since 1973. Most of them are long- 
term prisoners, the average sentence being 9 years. Among 
the prisoners is the Anarchist Noel Murray, serving a life 
sentence for the shooting of a policeman. 
This situation has remained unchanged despite the fact that 
even the Government appointed visiting committee in it's 
annual report for the last 8 years, has criticised the use of the 
Curragh for long-term prisoners. 

Secondly, there has always been a large incidence of mental 
disturbance among prisoners in the Curragh. 

At present a quarter of the prisoners are attending Ihe psych- 
iatrist regulary and a third are prescribed sleeping pills 

This situation is due to the dumping of disturbed- prisoners 
to the Curragh from civilian prisons where the prison auth- 
orities do not want them to the claustrophobic effects pf 
years spent in the narrow confines of the prison compound 
(see map) which was origionally intended to accomodate 
misbehaving soldiers for a few days or a few weeks; to the 
tension caused by the constant surveillance of 
soldiers stationed in watchtowers surrounding the 
prison with orders to shoot to kill in the event of 
an attempted escape; and to the hostile attitude of 
the military authorities and military police to the prisoners. 

Since 1978, th Curragh has been even more unbearable as a 
prison. In that year a new Govenor, Adrian J. Mullowney, 
took command and imposed a strict military discipline. More 
and more prisoners were put on what is termed /Report! 
The Military Police operate this system by which a prisoner 

Continued overleaf 

Continued from previous page 

is put on 'report' for breeches of discipline or the breaking 
of the prison rules. He then appears before the Governor and 
is punished. The 'report' system also operates in a way by 
which each individual MP is evaluated for promotion by the 
number of 'reports' he makes to his superiors. 

This practise ensures that the MP's have a vested interest in 
prison unrest and disturbances. The disturbances then in 
turn create the impression that the Curragh is necessary to 
contain these 'unruly^elements and this is one of the ways 
the continued existence of military custody is justified to 
the public. 

Many of the prisoners who were put on report were punish • 
ed on charges that did not exist previously ie. scraping spots 
of paint from the ground and not standing respectfully to 
attention for theGovernor. It is the sort of mindless discipline 
that soldiers are taught to jump to without question but 
prisoners quite rightly objected to as it was demeaning and 
should not constitute part of their imprisonment. 
However, refusal to obey was and is treated very severely. 
The normal punishment became 14 days loss of remission 
and orre to two months loss of privileges. For long term pris- 
oners remission is very important and the power to withdraw 
it is a powerful weapon in the hands of the authorities. For 
protesting against this petty authoritarianism, Noel Lynch 
lost the enormous total of 16 months remission out of his 
10 year sentence. 

The Protests. 

The prisoners in the Curragh protested strenuously. In 1978 
alone 2 there were three major peaceful protests before the 
new governor imposed his particular brand of discipline. 
In 1979 there was a further protest and on March 6th, a 
major H Block type dirt strike started. 

On this last occasion, two prisoners were wrongfully accused 
of damaging the cloth covering of a pool table. They lost 14 
days of remission, were locked up for two months and were i 
denied letters and visits for the same period. As a gesture of 
sympathy the other prisoners refused to cooperate with the 
authorities. They would not work nor answer the staff and 
left all their belongings outside their cells. 
The Military Police threw everything back into the cells, and 
chamberpots were overturned. After that, all refuse, food, 
excrement and urine were put on the walls and floor. This 
continued for three weeks'. Then MP's dressed in protective 
clothing entered and steam-hosed some of the cells, but 
these were immediately dirtied by the prisoners when they 
returned to them. That night, some military police (members 
of a clique of non-commissioned officers nicknamed 'The 
Gestapo') entered the cells of 4 prisoners and brutally beat 
them. One of the prisoners had three ribs broken. 

A 7 day hunger-strike followed after which five men remain- 
ed on protest until June 22nd. 

On average, prisoners participating in this protest lost 8-12 
weeks remission. As a result, hostility and ill feeling between 
staff and prisoners is at a very high level. 

Lack of Work and Training Facilities. 

The Army are determined to treat civilian prisoners like 
military prisoners. Instead of trying to help them serve their 
time usefully, the Army is only interested in imposing it's 
will and military discipline on the prisoners. There is no job 
training or preparation for outside life. The only work for 
prisoners at the minute is craftwork. The craftwork is most- 
ly organised and financed by the prisoners themselves, mak- 
ing wallets, thread pictures and matchstick boats. 
The fact that there is no work in the Curragh for the prison- 
ers is in defiance of the specific stipulations of the 1947 and 
1972 prision rules and regulations that "Work be provided!' 
Neither is there any facility for granting a prisoner working 
parole, that is, allowing him out to look for work prior to 
his release. 

Noel Lynch has spent 8years and 6months inside. He was 
left at the gates of the Curragh on the morning of the third of 
April 1981 with IR £64 in his pocket. Before he left, an MP 
said to him "You'll be back!' 

Last year alone, the Southern state spent approximately 
IR £10, 000 per annum, or IR £200 per week to keep him in 
prison, he had all the time in the world to be trained for a 
good job on release (Noel Lynch wished to be trained as an 
electrician). He learnt absolutely nothing and he was given 
no assistance to start a new life in a world that is vastly diff- 
erent than when he left it in 1972. The prisoners on leaving 
face a world with 120,000 unemployed. They have no prep- 
aration or training for outside life. The ex-Curragh prisoners 
will either be forced to emmigrate or else return to "crime;' 
very few will get work. 

A month before their release date, the prisoners name, date 
of birth, last address (before conviction) and more than like- 
ly his photograph will be printed in 'Fogra Tora' the confid- 
ential internal Garda bulletin. The police have also been 
known to print, 'likely to offend again! This bulletin will be 
circulated to every Garda barracks in the state. This is the 
hostile world that awaits the ex-prisoner after he has 'paid 
his debt to society! The Curragh prison has one of the high- 
est levels of recidivism in the state. The lack of useful work, 
jobs training, the constant harassment and persecution lays 
waste to the theory that prison is supposed to rehabilitate 


Neither compassionate nor working parole are granted to 
prisoners in the Curragh. 

The Department of 'Justice' has stated as it's policy that pris- 
oners be allowed out (under escort if necessary) on compass- 
ionate grounds eg. to attend the funeral of a close relative 
and to look for a job prior to their release. 

The Department of Defence refuses all parole. In 1975 a 
prisoner, Sammy Joyce, was serving only a 12 month sen- 
tence in the Curragh when his father died. He was refused 
leave to attend the funeral. 

In 1976 Buster Carroll was refused leave to attend his Moth- 
ers funeral. 

In 1980 Peter Fagan was refused leave to attend the funeral 
of his common law wife. 

Also in 1980, Noel Lynch's Father died. He was also refused 
parole even though he had completed most of his sentence 
and a well known Priest had offered to attend the funeral 
handcuffed to him and so guarantee his return. 

Yet at about the same time the then Minister for "Justice!' 
Collins, granted a convicted UDA prisoner parole from Moun 
tjoy prison to attend the funeral of a deceased parent in the 
North - a seperate jurisdiction!- and entrusted him to the 
safekeeping of the leader of the UDA, Andy Tyrie. 
The Carrot And The Stick. 

The Curragh now plays an important role in the tactics of 
the Department of "Justice" and the Penal system. 
When male prisoners are sentenced they are sent first to 
Mountjoy prison. There they are observed by the authorities 
and if they show any signs of standing up for themselves or 
the rights of others, they are then threatened with being sent 
to the Curragh 'the stick! On the other hand, if they keep 
their heads down and become 'yes' men they are rewarded 
with an easier life and ultimately transferred to the new 
prisons, Glengarrie Parade, and Arbour Hill - the Carrot. 
These prisons have a 'softer ' regime. In Glengarrie Parade, 
the new training prison attached to Mountjoy, each prisoner 
on entering has to give a guarantee not to get involved in 
prison protests. 

That is the reality of Military custody in the 'Free 
State' to-day. 

Lord 'Justice' Gibson refused to grant bail 
to a 19 year old Belfast woman who was, 
whilst on remand in prison, about to give 

Gibson, with inbred arrogance, stated that 
"When born, your baby should apply to 
me for bail'' These words reflect a number 
of things: 

- On his part, an upper class tradition of 

"Stiff upper lip'/ emotions a thing to be 
suppressed and punished. Presumably, 
'justice' Gibson was able to address his 
father as 'Sir' and clean his riding boots 
from birth. 

- By saying that the baby should apply to 
him for bail, he must assume that the child 
has committed some crime... which says 
something for the Mothers chance of a 
fair trial — none. 

- As is so often the case, the Courts rule 

of habeus corpus is defied.. .the baby has 
not been charged, should no be considered 
as 'held' and as such should not have to 
apply for bail. 

- Finally, it accentuates the fact that ' 
.'Justice' Gibson is merely another in a 
long line of the 'Cream of society', an elite 
placed in judgement whilst being void of 
any humanity, and lacking any comprehen 

sion of what it is to be woman, child or 
human. Such is the quality of justice.. ..and 
didn't Kafka recognise it straight off? 


^g^^/ith Outta Co^ol 10p (outside ^and 15p) 




Issue No 5 JULY 1981 

The right to vote, or equal civil rights, may be good 
demands, but true emancipation begins neither at the 
polls, nor in courts. It begins in woman's soul. History 
tells us that every oppressed class gained true liberation 
from its masters through its own efforts. It is necessary 
that woman learn that lesson, that she realise that her 
freedom will reach as far as her power to achieve her 
freedom reaches. EMMA GOLDMAN 191 1 

The British State can now add 
another dead hunger striker and 
insurrections in three British cities 
to its long list of atrocity and 
repression. Whilst people are 
protesting at the horror, the grief 
and the frustration of the policies 
of this government, it sits in 
Westminster swaddled in smugness, 
and superiority : an implaccable 
brick wall. It has been the Irish 
who have been constantly looking 
at new iniatives to stop another 
hunger striker dying. Relatives 
tour the United States, publicising 
the issue, thousands demonstrate 
in the streets of the North every 
week and it is all condemned in 
the British media as IRA propag- 
anda, just as they are trying to 
condemn the riots in British 
cities as racial violence when it is 
clear to everybody that it takes 
the police to enforce Thatcher's 
policies in England never mind in 
the North and that judging by all 
those bleeding policemen it won't 
be long before the Army is called 
in too. At last people in Britain 
are wakening up to the fact that 
they are living in a police state 
and they are seeing for the first 
time, the same tactics used against 
them as have been used against us. 

The British government are doing 
nothing, nor are they remotely interested 
in doing anything in London, Liverpool, 

Manchester or in Northern Ireland/There 
can be no U turns" has now been incor- 
porated into the English language as an 
absolute truth. Police harassment and 
brutality, petrol bombs, riots and CS 
gas are words usually reserved for 
Northern Ireland not Britain, and, 
Liverpool got its first whiff of CS gas 
this week. 

The Toxteth part of Liverpool is an area 
of walk up flats, terraced houses and 
redevelopment, where repairs and main- 
tenance are not being done because the 
repair teams have been cut back. It is an 
areas where one school has closed down 
and a threat of closure hangs over another, 
which if it happens will mean that 
children will have to be bussed out of 
the area for secondary education. It is an 
area of desperate unemployment, in a 
city with unemployment figures the 
highest since the war, with over 60% of 
young blacks without a job. 
Police harassment and brutality is no 
news to the people of Liverpool. Although 
the police have been very rascist, brutality 
affects both whites and blacks. People 
still remember the Jimmy Kelly incident 
a man who died whilst in police custody. 
He had been walking home drunk one 
night, singing, and was stopped by police 
on wasteground. Local people who had 
heard him and witnessed the incident felt 
that he had died as the result of police 
violence and this view was not helped by 
the photographs of his body, covered in 
big gashes. Although the family mounted 
a campaign for a public inquiry and had 
the support of local councillors, they 
were refused it. 

The media has been harping on about ■ 
racial tension all the time, trying to find 
a scapegoat to blame as usual. The fact 

Cont back page 


Judge Russell dismissed 
the civil action against Atkins brought 
by two Armagh prisoners on the 
protest, Breige Ann McCaughley from 
Andersonstown and Eileen Morgan 
from Newry, and a third released 
prisoner, Shirley Devlin, from Newing- 

They were sueing Atkins for assaults 
and injuries resulting from the attack 
on republican women prisoners on 
February 7th 1980, which led directly 
to women going on the no wash 
protest, and a further assault in the 
prison yard in March of the same year. 
Rose McAllister from Ardoyne, who 
was on protest in Armagh at the time 
had this to say after she had attended 
part of the hearing: 
I felt absolute and utter disgust at the 
blatent lies that were told in court by 
the screws and the Governor Scott- 
the lies that man told! The decision was 
a foregone conclusion. The judge was 
biased from the start-probably thats 
why Scott knew he could tell lies. 

What the Judge has actually done is to 
condone more physical violence against 
women in prison. He had no sympathy 
at all for their case. He has now given 
the prison authorities a free hand to 
attack both men and women prisoners 
—in fact he condemned the women 
for trying to defend themselves! As 
for the rejection of Shirley Devlin's 
evidence and the medical report supp- 
orting her claims-the judge pointed 
out that all she had was a slight bruising 
on her head and shoulder and that this 
proved nothing- its therefore acceptable 
to beat up a woman if you only slightly 
bruise her. What is ignored is the 
violence and brutality of the attack 
itself upon a woman. Any attack 
whether slight or ferocious-and Shirl- 
ey's was ferocious (they tried to force 
her head through iron bars) is allowed 

Scott in the dock justified the use of 
male screws by claiming that on a cell 
search the female screws were liable 
to be attacked by women prisoners. 
That is a lie and he shouldn't have got 
away with it. The ppint is that on cell 
searches all the prisoners are locked up 
so such an attack could not have taken 
place. The real reason for the use of 
male screws was to attack instead, to 
try and break and demoralise 
the women 


Over the past couple of years it has become 
easier for women's groups in the North of 
Ireland to discuss the subject of abortion more 
publicly. Letters proclaiming that women have 
the right to choose whether or not to have an 
abortion have been published in the local press 
and the subject has been aired on radio and 
television. For women in the south of Ireland, 
it is a very different story, with no support 
coming from outside the feminist and left wing 
circles. The subject of choice for women is still 
virtually taboo with the anti-abortionists press- 
ing for more and more reactionary measures. 
The recent beginning of a campaign for a pro-life 
amendment to be made to the Irish Constitution has 
been received with fervour by all the political parties, 
competing with each other to be even more anti-abortion 
than their rivals, and by some of the most influential 
gynaecologists and obstetricians. Unlike the North, there 
have been no subsequent updates to the British 1861 
Offences against the Persons Act which means that at 
present a woman is liable to be imprisoned for life for 
aiding or procuring an abortion. The only way in legal 
terms that this can be eased is by the woman herself, 
whose life was in immediate danger, taking out a 

Supreme Court case to defend her own life. The Pro- 
life Amendment Campaign want to make the 'rights' 
of the woman secondary to that of the unborn foetus 
by guaranteeing absolute right to life to the foetus-thus, 
The State recognises the absolute right to life of every 
unborn child from conception and accordingly guarantees 
to respect and protect such rights by law. 

Such organised opposition to abortion and to contracep- 
tion from groups outside the Catholic Church has been 
growing during the last four years, since the Catholic 
Church realised that it was not strong enough to go it 
alone. Organisations like the Irish Family League and 
the League of Decency have come to the fore, plus the 
ubiquitous British organisation SPUC (Society for the 
Protection of the Unborn Child). Like LIFE in the 
North, SPUC knows that they have lost in Britain and 
are making an enthusiastic last stand in Ireland. 

Feminists have tended to veer away from arguing over 
the moral, biological and scientific data presented by the 
anti-abortionists. The issue has been over the control of 
our own bodies and the choice for safe and legal abortion 
to be quickly and freely available to all women who 
choose to have one.... and rightly so. However the prop- 
osed amendment is so serious and has such a good chance 
of succeeding that maybe we should start to question 
openly the claims of SPUC and LIFE, particulary on 
scientific grounds. A woman's life cannot be thought 
of as secondary to that of the foetus. 

This brings us to SPUC in particular. They are essentially 
a religious group, hiding behind a veneer of quasi scient- 
ific knowledge and straightforward lies-their Founder 
President and 'scientific expert' was appointed by the 
Pope to the Pontificial Academy of Scientists a couple 
of years back. Unlike the Pregnancy Counselling groups 
and the Women's Right to Choose group who present 
all the information and the options open to women and 
do not pressurise them into having abortions, SPUC and 
similar organisations rely heavily on emotional appeal 
and gloss over actual facts. They continually misquote 
statistics about maternal deaths during abortion and 
childbirth to uphold their argument; they talk about 
murdering the 'unborn child' yet see no objections to 
carrying those same unborn children to meetings in 
pickle jars to show to people-where did the sanctity of 
life disappear to? Their literature is well known for its 
technicolour photographs of six month foetuses, given 
as examples of a 12 week abortion.. many women 
are aware that in countries where abortions are legal and 
easily obtained between 8-10 weeks, the foetus is about 
the same size as an adult's thumb nail with no obvious 
human characteristics and that it is only in countries 
where abortion legislation is restrictive that the problems 
of later abortion exist. SPUC and like groups are restrict- 
ing the choice of Irish women by imposing their religious 
views on everybody- they are so fanatical that they 
would rather see a woman die than grant her an abortion. 
It must be stressed that many women when shown colour 
photographs of childbirth or someone having their 
appendix out feel just as sickened by all the gory details 
and blood as they would when shown pictures of an 

The anti-abortion feeling in the South spills over into 
other areas of pregnancy as well-a woman, for instance, 
who has had a malformed or handicapped child will not 
be screened in subsequent pregnancies to determine 
whether the baby is normal. Her choice is between the 
birth of another possible handicapped child or the 
abortion in England of what may well be the perfectly healthy 
baby that she wants. At least in the North, the Genetic Counsel- 
ling service will offer immediately an abortion to women 
in these circumstances, on the National Health Service. 

Through the Irish Pregnancy Counselling Association and 

the Women's Right to Choose Group, women in the 

south have been able to get information and counselling 

about abortion before going to England. Thousands of 

women travel to London or Liverpool every year and 

most arrive with little idea of what lies ahead-how to 

get to the clinic, who will help, what the law is, what 

the standards of hygiene are-many are trying to get 

abortions on the NHS so they give British addresses 

although it is a well known fact that most Irish women 

are too afraid to give their real address anyway.. .some 

will be wearing disguises, most will not engage in any Cont . next 

conversation with other women until the abortion is 
over, maybe not even then. These two groups have been 
invaluable to Irish women and need the support of 
Northern women. Attitudes to abortion are similar 
[throughout Ireland and it is going to be an uphill 
struggle for all of us to get free abortion on demand. 
Joint action between the Norther" Ireland Abortion 

Campaign and the Women's Right to Choose group is in 
the making and there will be a conference in Dublin at 
the beginning of November to discuss the whole issue 
with various 'stunts" proposed for the Southern State 
and Westminster to contemplate.... any woman who wants 
to take part should contact the Women's Centre about 
the next NIAC meeting. 


Known as Mujeres Libres, there are sev- 
eral groups scattered throughout Spain. 
The following article comes from a 
meeting with some women out of the 
Madrid group in their premises which 
they share with several CNT unions 
and a libertarian Ateneo. 

-First of all-we should like to make 
it clear that we regard ourselves as an 
affinity group rather than an organisat- 
ion... that is, we are a group of women 
united by a set of ideas which place us 
in the libertarian camp, the camp of 
the anti-authoritarians. 

Q.How do you see the Womens Move- 
ment today? 

A. Basically we dislike all -isms, but we 
accept the meaning which many wom- 
en invest this word feminism, that it 
does not mean man's inferiority to 
women but a relationship of equality 
between the sexes in the context of an 
egalitarian society. 

The Women's movement has gone far 
in theoretical terms and gone deeply 
into the women's situation, but in 
terms of participation and organisation 
it finds itself in a moment of crisis. 
Many organisations or groups are only 
female wings of political parties and 
consequently do not campaign for 
liberation as women, insofar as they 
are hindered by political interests and 
considerations (electoral prospects, 
for example). 

We hold that the introduction by such 
groups (connected to the parties) into 
the Movement, or the notion that the 
organisations/groups of the Womens 
Movement should be organisationally 
at one with the parties who deem 
themselves the authentic representat- 
ives of the working class, is one of 
the present factors behind the present 
crisis of the Womens Movement. A 
substantial part of the Womens 
Movement has lost its autonomy and 
as a result many women have been 
disillusioned to discover that in 
practice this means that their concern: 
must take a back seat to some supp- 
osedly strategic broader concern. 

Q. What are you relations with other 
organisations within the Women's 

A. Here in Madrid, we are in touch 
with them through our participation 
in the Platform of Women's Organis- 
ations with a view to mounting spec- 
ific actions to improve women's 
circumstances. On the abortion issue 
for instance all women's .organisat- 
ions are agreed. Then again there is 
one specific campaign upon which 
nearly all feminists are agreed, but 
which we have agreed not to join. 
We mean the campaign for a divorce 

Falling back upon the old libertarian 
idea about free relationships without 
institutional bonds we refuse to 
campaign for divorce because we 
take the line that a campaign for 
divorce keeps the institution of 
marriage alive by rationalising it. We 
are for the non instituitonalisation 
of a couple's relationships as well 
as the same thing in all human 
relationships. In that sense we take 

communal relationships as our 
model against the nuclear family 
and the monogamous couple. ..with- 
out seeking to impose it of course. 

We think too that the campaign for 
divorce would involve us in an 
American style process in that we 
would be feeding the highly profit- 
able marriage and divorce industry. 

That may seem Utopian and it has 
brought down upon us the charge 
that we are a token group far remo- 
ved from the concerns of the bulk of 
women. But we think one has to 
move far beyond what some narrow 
minds term the realities. And thus ■ 
we accept the fact that we may be 
out on a limb here. In fact, any 
time that anything specific has been 
achieved in terms of legal reforms 
the real lives of many people have 
gone further still. For example, in 

iage business, there is an increasing 
number of people who do not bother 
to marry and do not institutionalise 
their relationships, and this is happ- 
ening not just in what are termed 
advanced societies such as Northern 
European countries, but here in 
Spain also. 

Q. How do you stand with regard to 
the Mujeres Libres of the past? 

A. In 1936-1939, the Mujeres Libres 
organisation comprised libertarian 
women but times have changed. We 
are women and libertarians too but 
changing times mean changes in the 
form and content of our struggles. 
For example Mujeres Libres used to 
campaign for basic educational 
facilities for women but today the 
State provides that already. We take 
the view that the real Mujeres Libres 
during the Civil War need to be 
studied but without idealising them. 

Q. Finally is there a lot of male 
chauvinism among libertarians? 

A. In this society where one is mani- 
pulated and moulded from birth so 
that you internalise your role as 'little 
boy' or 'little girl' and where you ac* 
as 'big brother' as a result, it is very 
hard to escape this manipulation. 
Thus it is in trying to rise above these 
real traumas of our childhood one 
finds, incongruously, anarcho-chauv- 
inists, individuals who are for a free 
society, a just and egalitarian society 
but who in the moment of truth, 

patronise and underate their female 

Only by realising our hypocrisies can 
we overcome them and that is why 
we exist as a specific women's group. 

Since in a male society we are the 
most scorned of creatures of whom it 
asks a life of subordination, of abdica- 
tion of self and that we should be the 
servants of others, it must be us who 
revolt against this 'order' and in 
denouncing it, we demand total and 
effective equality. 


Around fifty women attended the Gay Confer- 
ence in Cork and of these a few were straight 
feminist women who came to give their support 
to the lesbian women. We discussed Issues such 
as the isolation and oppression we suffered from 
the link with the Women's movement and the gay 
social scene. One straight woman made the crit- 
icism that we lesbians didn't know what we want- 
ed or where we were going. What she failed to real 
realise was that in a society which oppresses 
women, lesbians do not exist. We do know what 
we want: wc are fighting to have our existence 
recognised, both as lesbians and as women. 
Most women felt very lonely and isolated and wc 
felt that a national lesbian network should be est 
established to help overcome our isolation and 
build a strong lesbian movement. We proposed a 
motion that was passed at the Conference: That 
all gay men's organisations in Ireland (ie 32 count 
counties) make resources available to assist womei 
women to establish a national lesbian network 
under the control of women, to be co-ordinated 
initially by L.I.L. 

As well as discussing these issues, we talked about 
ourselves and got to know each other. Wc discus- 
sed the problems of being gay women in a male 
dominated society with its bourgeois morality. As 
lesbians wc continually have to face disgust and 
insults ; we are seen as perverts who should be loci 
locked away, and this made it extremely hard for 
many of us to face our gayness. When we did as 
in my own case, we experienced mental illness 
and depression. We were angry that society makes 
gay women and men ill and self hating, and at hov 
how the medical profession views us as psychiatric 
cases who need to be cured. 
The way forward is clearly for the lesbian and gay 
men's movements - although they arc separate 
and fighting for different things- to present a 
united front. But we lesbians feel that the move- 
ment should not be hierarchical, that wc should 
have an equal say in decisions and should control 
more of the resources. Above all, wc must show 
that we exist, both as lesbians and as women, and 
the link with the women's movement is essential 
in doing this. 


A new gay club, the Carpenter Club, has fust opened in central 
Belfast. Named after Edward Carpenter, Utopian socialist and 
gay liberation pioneer of the late 1800s the club aims to 
provide a non exploitative place of entertainment for lesbians 
and gay men in Belfast. There were only about half a dozen 
women there the night that I went but I hope thai if more 
women support the club we will in time feel the club is for 
us as much as for the men and a friendly and progressive 
atmosphere will be encouraged. I did find my ears battered 
by the heavy disco music and my senses disorientated by the 
peacock pattern of the lighting; other dancers tottered back 
into the cafe area looking pale and shaken, so it wasn 't just my 
age! I also found ( a more serious criticism) my pocket emptied 
by the high cost of membership (£5)- there should be a reduction 
for those not in employment. For more information contact 
NIGRA or Carafriend at Belfast 22023 

that there is not really any anti-black 
feeling in Toxteth where white people 
have been living with black people for 
years does not seem to deter them. It 
was clearly and definitely a 'mixed' 
riot and that the incident which sparked 
it off, a black youth riding along on a 
bicycle, stopped by police and accused 
of stealing it, could not have provoked 
such a spectacular response had there 
not been grievances against police 
harassment for years previously. In fact 
everybody has been saying that this 
was going to happen in Liverpool for 
ages and Thatcher's policies have put 
the lid on it.. ..or blown it off! Liverpool 
like Bristol has one of the oldest 
established black communities in Britain 
It is a well known fact that both cities 
owe much of their prosperity in the 
past to being part of the slave triangle 
between Africa and America. The black 
community in Liverpool has been there 
since the nineteenth century. It has 
received few benefits. Money has been 
spent in Liverpool on providing comm- 
unity facilities for ethnic minorities, 
there is a Pakistani centre and a Carrib- 
ean centre, but Liverpool born blacks 
have been ignored, and anyway they 
want jobs first not centres. It is signif- 
icant that the Peoples March against 
unemployment originated in Liverpool 
earlier this year and that there was a 
big response to it. It was one of the 
peaceful ways in which Liverpool 
people have been protesting for years, 
and was duly reported and then ignored 
by the British government. Although 
a majority of cities in Britain declared 
their city council to be an equal 
opportunity employer years ago, Liver- 
pool have only recently done so, even 
though people have been pushing them 
for quite a while. ..there are still few 
blacks employed by them. 
Areas like Toxteth may have realised 
to some extent what British repression 
means to people in the North of Ireland. 
The British State will not give an inch. 
We have seen what happens to 30,000 
people who go to the polls and vote 
for Bobby Sands, the only peaceful 
and legal protest that the British 
Government has left us, so that through 
this totally meaningless gesture of 
democracy it can be publicised world 
wide as well as to the people of Britain, 
that people do think the prisoners 
five demands are reasonable and should 
be granted, and, that it is not just a 
'handful of extremists' who think so.... 
and what happens.. ..30,000 people are 
accused of being IRA supporters alias 
thugs and hooligans so their vote is of 
no importance even if they did play 
the game. The British media are now 
virtually saying rather than implying 
that all Catholics are thugs and hooligans 
hooligans (this does not seem to exclude 
the Catholic hierarchy!) and that as 
such all catholics in England should 
disassociate themselves. 
London, Liverpool and Manchester 
may yet experience at first hand the 
treatment meted out to 'thugs' and 
'hooligans' . The British State has been 
quick, too quick, to p :int out that 
rioters in Manchester are 'just looters and arson- 
ists' and so playing on the traditional concept- 
ions people have about 'criminals'. They want 
to cloud the issues involved, the social and econ- 
omic crises that they have themselves created 
The similarity with Ireland and the British policy 
of criminalising political activists is too clear to 

It is a sad lack in women's papers that 
there is little or nothing written about 
women living in the country in Ireland. 
Ireland is a predominantly rural count- 
ry and yet the problems faced by rural 
women have hardly ever been discussed 
in feminist circles in Belfast for instance. 
The following was written out of a 
conversation with a friend of ours who 
has been living in Co. Down for the last 
ten years.... we would welcome more 
articles on the subject. 


Why did you move out to the country? 

I moved out to the country in the 
early seventies after having iived most 
of my life in Ardoyne. As a teenager 
most of my thoughts had been on how 
to enjoy myself, although I knew what 
was going on around me, the pressures 
people were living with and at that time 
the continual threat to people of 
sectarian assassinations. I felt those 
pressures too and I wanted to get away 
from it but it wasn't until I was twenty 
or so that I really began to think about 
what was going on around me. Living 
in the country where I do you don't 
come in contact with people who share 
the same views or stimulate your inter- 
est to get involved as a person in your 
own right although that is coming 
together for me now. 

Did you feel isolated? 

Yes it can be a problem. At first it is 
a novelty for friends to come out and 
see you but it wears off. You can get 
very dependent on friends coming out 
to see you, it isn't simply a matter of 
popping round the corner or if you 
want a break in the day going for a wee 
dander in the town. But you gradually 
become more in tune with the counctry 
I love the silence and tranquility now, 
cycling into Crossgar for instance, when 
before I wouldn't have seen any beauty 
in a country lane.... it was just boring to 

Hoe do you think your children 's life 
here differs from your own in Belfast? 

Well, there is plenty of space for them 
to play and no traffic for a start! They 
don't have to establish themselves as 
street fighters and I don't have to go 
out and do battle for my children. It 
could get quite rough in Ardoyne with 
mothers scrapping over their children. 

Kids book 


At last I've found a really fascinating 
children's book thats written for and 
about children living in working class 
streets in Belfast. There are eleven 
beautiful wee stories about how a single 
parent and two children move from 
a small flat into a house of their own 
with their own yard on Majuba Street 
and become accepted and make friends 
in the community. Its one of those bool 
books that are impossible to review, 
you just see something in every line 
that you want to write down. Its full of 
Belfast axioms and colloquialisms- the 
house they move into looks like a three 
minute warning, they go to the chippy 
on a Friday night, they have races on 

I don't feel that I could have done that. 
The kids are much more sensitive to 
nature, they know a lot about birds and 
trees and flowers, they play games like 
all kids-Brits and Provies-but they 
miss out on street games with lots 
of kids like hide and seek and red lights. 
I don't know how it will affect them as 
they get older. Teenagers are lost round 
here, there is nothing for them to do 
at all. 

What's school like for them? 

Its a bit of a hassle. You have to go a 
couple of miles and you don't get a 
selection of schools to choose from. Its 
a lot harder to get a school with a 
'broader' education. I find country 
schools narrow in their outlooks, more 
insistent on uniforms and that sort of 
thing. The school hasn't got many 
facilities, there is no gym equipment, 
just the odd game of rounders once 
a year, they don't go in for day trips or 
nature walks— most of the day is spent 
in the classroom. The teacher/pupil 
ratio is better but then they are trying 
to close down some of the schools and 
amalgamate to make them bigger. You 
can't pick and choose your schools 
because you don't want your child to 
know children nine miles away, you 
want them to have friends in their own 

What about yourself. How do you feel 
about country life? 

I can't believe I ever lived in a terraced 
house. They make me feel claustropho- 
bic and then you are always aware even 
subconsciously of the neighbours and 
the noise and whether you are disturbing 
ing them. I can see how living in the 
country you could lose what pushes you 
to be sociable. There have been certain 
periods over the years when I have felt 
I was becoming inward looking and it 
got hard to talk to people. You start 
to lose confidence in yourself. I don't 
feel that at the moment. It would be 
almost impossible for me to find women 
interested in starting a women's group, 
I might manage a. 'coffee morning' 
maybe, but I suppose this would apply 
to parts of the town as well. Ideally 
country life would be marvellous if you 
could build up a community of people 
who felt the same way about sharing 
and helping each other but unfortunate- 
ly 'country living' has become so 
fashionable that property is out of 
reach financially for most working class 

their bikes up the entries, they talk to 
each other in 'real' language— me 
Mammy, me Da, wee boys, wee girls, 
yous, wee taste of tea, etc etc. 

Farset admit that that the characters 
are socially stereotyped, but the stories 
are so funny and so real, so full of ideas 
and traditions that even so they 
actually helped me to talk to my daught 
daughter and son about the roles they 
were expected to play out on the street. 
There were knowing smiles between us 
when we got to the conversation 
between Sandra and Betty and Sandra 
says 'I'm glad you came to live in our 
street. There's only been wee boys up 
til now', —well worth reading and The 
Bus Run got them thinking! 

Available from Farset Co-operative Press 
Press, 95 Shankill Road, Belfast. Price 
£1.50 or from Just Books, 7 Winetavern 
Street, Belfast. 


& Views 

Belfast Anarchist Collective 


I if ii 

OOTtA: Co n-fcoL 
^o^chfeS . .. Ae A> 
^ftafcafcoo of rt\is — 

four 1 i^>eeK$ <a*vi uielcame 


The artificial fibre industry is one of the 
biggest employers in the North. But this 
year it has ground almost to a halt, as 
the multi-nationals pull out because their 
profits aren't high enough. 
Courtaulds, at Carrickfergus, have laid 
off 3,000, and at Campsie, near Derry, 
another 630. ICI near Larne, have sacked 
2000. And last month at Antrim, Enkalon 
announced the loss of 1300 jobs. 
There has been little opposition from 
the workers, who have an uncritical 
view of their trade union leaders. John 
Freeman explained the unions strategy 
to oppose the bosses "No one can crit- 
icise the company" he said on TV. "Its 
not for me to question the internal 
affairs of a company" The reduncancies 
have been agreed with the trades unions 
who have been silenced by very large 
reduncancy payments and the usual 
argument about 'world wide recession- 
over capacity - fierce international com- 
petition etc. 

In 1978 ICI's profits were £421m In 1979 
£613m but collapsed to £284m in 1980. 
But a rather different fate awaits the 
executives of ICI. 
• Dr. Brian Smitr>is the ICI main board 
'"director with rejponstbifity for fibw^^y- 
. I ! wridtt lasty ear cost the l^plhy^pSl^V 
\ fltfp recjundjarlby, he lsp*ir~ 

Since our last issue, three more hunger- 
strikers have died in the H-Blocks of 
Long Kesh - Martin Hurson from Augh- 
naskea, Co. Tyrone, Kevin Lynchfrom 
Dungiven, Co. Derry, and Kieran Doch- 
erty (an elected member of the South- 
ern Parliament) from Andersonstown, 
Bel 'fast. Eight young men have now 
died, with Tom McElwee reaching a 
critical condition. 

The callous manipulation of such bodies 
as the Commission for Justice and Peace, 
and the Red Cross, at moments when 
some of the prisoners were struggling to 
live, shows that the NIO has no intentions 
of solving the hunger strike. 
WHY ? 

The Belfast Central H-Block and Armagh 
Committee put out a leaflet last week en- 
titled 'Why the Hunger Strike Continues" 
We are to put 'all our energy into convin- 
cing the grass roots of the Catholic . 
Church, the SDLP, and Southern Govern- 
ment party that the prisoners' cause is a 
just one - so that they in turn will (make) 
demand(s) of their own leaders..' Ali our 
our energies ? What of the thousands who 
take to the streets to protest, what of the 
power of workers and civil disobedience 


down South ? 


Instead of relying on those sections of 
society, in whose interest it is to defeat 
the criminal isation of prisoners, we are to 
concentrate on some of the most author- 
itarian sections. To convince the ruling 
classes of Ireland, who daily exploit and 
manipulate us, to support the prisoners, 
is to ask them to attack themselves. 
Of course they want to see an end to the 
hunger strike, because the protest, and 
support it generates, threatens them. 
Their backing of the various commissions' 
interventions shows they are prepared to 
undersell the prisoners. 

In short, the Big Three won't back the 
prisoners, unless they can sell them and us 
out. We must rely on ourselves, introduce 
new tactics and persevere at others. The 
4-Day March from Newry to Dublin did 
not receive the support it deserved from 
national organisations such as the Nation- 
al H-Block Committee, Sinn Fein, and 
IRSP. The possibilities of that march, 
such as industrial action, and joint sharing 
of experiences, north and south, did not 


Since April this year there have been six 
deaths from plastic bullets . Scores of 
people have been seriously injured includ- 
ing fifteen year old Paul Lavelle who is in 
on a life support system and Kevin 
McLaughlin aged fourteen who is still 
unconscious after being hit on the back of 
the head by a plastic bullet on May 19th 
and, is. likely to beoaralysed for life. 

These lethal weapons have been described 
by Herman, the RUC Chief Constable 
as a 'minimum force weapon'.. ..'not 
intended to kill'. However this statement 
has been contradicted by no less a person 
than Willie Whitelaw, British Home Secre- 
tary and one time Secretary of State for 
Northern Ireland. He said that he could 
Contd. on inside frontpage 


The Loyalist State since its beginning has 
always seen itself as a community under siege, 
throughout its history it has had to be 
defensive in maintaining its existence by any 
means necessary through the B Specials, RUC, 
UDR or UDA. 


The hard line loyalist answer to catholics not 
knowing their place is to kill some of them. The 
sectarian assassinations carried out by the . 
loyalist paramilitary groups may be silently 
condemned by the majority of protestants, 
but murders carried out by the State's 'peace 
keepers' towards innocent catholics are never 
questioned and are whitewashed over by the 

Continued on inside back page 



ECOLOGY is simply our relationship 
to the natural world ... us and nature ... 
how we understand that relationship, 
how we act within it. The system we 
live in, our culture, decides that relation- 
ship... it decides our attitudes and resp- 
onses to the natural world. So land, un- 
der private (usually family) ownership, 
and used for gain and profit through 
factory-type farming, is the; key to 
understanding ecology. Because people 
do not feel themselves to be in any dee- 
of harmony with the natural world. 
With the fields and the countryside. 
On the contrary, most people are denied any 
access to land, that right going traditionally 
from father to son through family ownership. 
The land is NOT something we all can share 
in, can work together ... it is seen as the way 
to make money for a few, to abuse as much 
as possible, to sell, to increase profits, to buy 
more machinery.* 

That is the logic of private ownership. But 
farming has not evolved such a way by acci- 
dent... it is the direct result of government 
policies and the development of machinery/ 
technology. Policies and technology that see 
nature as something to be dominated, cont- 
rolled ... as something in the service of the few. 
Indirectly, of course, we all get fed ... but at 
what cost ? We shall see. 

The Gov/Multi-national Connection. 

Farming is more or less run by governments, 
who in turn carry out the wishes of huge 
chemical companies - always it is THEIR 
interests which get pushed. The farmers at 
the other end are only too eager to follow. 
Pesticides / insecticides / herbicides are man- 
ufactured and pushed by big drug companies.. 
they are no longer an 'aid' to farming, but a 
short-cut to money-making, replacing all 
traditional methods. Government tries not to 
interfere, preferring taxes to real food. Agri- 
culture becomes based on long-term disaster as 
the millions of tons of artificial chemicals 
pumped and sprayed into the ground become 
lethal ! Stronger and more lethal doses have to 
be used every year, as insects, supposed to be 
killed, build up resistances ... the bigger the 
dose of chemical used, the greater the danger 
to humans, animals, the soil, food. The chem- 
icals accumulate in the soil, and slowly build 

up - without notice or warning. Like radiation, 
the effect is additive ... maybe cancer in 10; 
20; 30; years' time. The chemical industry 
persuades us to use all we can ... they encour- 
age calendar spraying, spraying whether the 
so-called disease is about or not. They encour- 
age spraying in advance of an outbreak ; they 
encourage spraying to make vegetables look 
nice, irrespective of what harm it is doing. 
Meanwhile we are encouraged to BUY, to 
consume, vegetables, depending on how they 
LOOK, not their flavour or goodness. The 
agri-chemical industry, always claiming too 
much government control even where there is 
very little, push cancerous products to the 
landowner out to make money. Slowly but 
surely the land is becoming polluted to the 
point of no return. Governments watch, always 
eager to deny the danger of these chemicals, 
yet stay in business by making into a taboo 
harmless things like marijuana Of such is then- 
logic feeding our minds shit, full of 


Realising the accumulating dangers, and foll- 
owing in the footsteps of the America! tech- 
nocrats, some EEC bureaucrats issued a 

'directive' which would require member 

states to restrict or withdraw certain chemical 
compounds. (The USA government banned 
DDT amongst other chemicals, but the multi- 
national pushers sold their drugs, abroad, 
particularly in Third World countries). These 
'restricted compunds' remain in use in both 
Britain and Ireland. They will not be banned... 
until 'effective alternatives become available'. 
A bit like saying we'll do away with some, 
when we get its equivalent on the market 
with a new hyped brand name. 
The chemicals work hand in hand with the 
new farming mentality - of big machinery, 
EEC grants, bigger fields, ripping up hedges, 
spraying for everything, irrespective of the 
workers' health or those that live or grow 
nearby .... the big, neat, synthetic, approach 
to land they use and abuse as they are led, 
just because it is OWNED. 
To argue that this is needed to feed the 
world's millions shows just how far we have 
gone away from any understanding of the 
earth's potential, and got filled up with non- 
sense. EEC mountains and lakes is the new 
agri-culture. Polluted land, harmful food, with 
most of us divorced from the land, becomes 
the modern twist to ecology, just like the world 
government push for nuclear power; it is 
multi-nationals and governments which gain 
at the expense of a slow poisoning of us alL 
And to change things ? Clearly, the modern 
wholefood shop is NOT the answer. It leaves 
us divorced from the rural reality, substituting 
pre-packed Third World commodity rice for 
any personal connection with what is potent- 
ially around us. The answer comes from an 
urban / rural consciousness ... a belief in the 
NEED to regain our touch of earth. And that 
can only come about when the ordinary peo- 
ple who live in city batteries feel that need. 

* Granted, there are many 
spots in Ireland where living on the land is 
difficult, where survival is full-time. Such 
small-scale farming is being done away with 
by Government/EEC policies. But even then, 
the culture of agri-business still plays a big 

Contd. from frontpage 
not sanction the use of plastic bullets in 
Britain because it would mean 'inflicting 
injury and death on rioters'. 

If these deaths and injuries had been caus- 
ed by the use of 'live' ammunition there 
would have been an outcry. However, 
although these plastic bullets have been 
shown to kill and maim, their name gives 
a false impression of their lethal nature, 
suggesting a toy bullet. They are actually 
called 'baton rounds'. They replaced the 
rubber bullet in 1972 because of the injur- 
ies and deaths caused by rubber bullets. 
The death toll of plastic bullets far exceeds 
that of rubber bullets. Aplastic bullet is 
a blunt PVC cylinder, 3 1 / 2 inches long and 

On the road 
to Dublin 

On Saturday, July 25th. , about 12,000 
people brought the city of Dublin to a 
virtual halt whilst they peacefully asser- 
ted their right to demonstrate their sup- 
port for the hunger strikers in Long 
Kesh. With Kieran Docherty T.D. and 
Kevin Lynch both in serious condition 
at that time, the vast crowds declared 
their intent to increase pressure on the 
Dublin government to take practical 
and negotiating measures in support of 
the demands of the prisoners. 

The event in Dublin was the climax of 
a four-day march which involved peo- 
ple from all corners of the 'Free State,' 
and of the North. From Wednesday on- 
wards local groups had made their way 
along country roads and major high- 
ways, making a considerable impact in 
terms of slowing traffic, generating int- 
erest in, and support of, the issues in- 
volved. Much-needed funds were also 
collected along the route and marchers 
carried flags and banners showing their 
places of origin. The Gardai accompan- 
ied each local group and were out in 
massive force when the thousands of 
people finally met in Dublin and mar- 
ched from the GPO on a route past 
Leinster House to the Gardens of Rem- 
embrance where wreaths were laid. 

Whilst the march had many successes - 
such as bringing the social and comm- 
ercial life of the city to a halt, creating 
propaganda and media interest - it must 
be recognised that demonstrations of 
this kind have a limited use and are nev- 
er the sole means of shifting an intrans- 
igent State. 12,000 people were policed 
and contained, and it is unlikely that 
governments trembled as a result or 
felt in any way politically threatened. 
It will always be a combination of tac- 
tics, passive and active, that will achieve 
progress. For one element (whichever 
it is) in any campaign to regard itself as 
the sole means of success, is delusion. 
Whilst preparing for future demonstr- 
ations of this kind, it is hoped that peo- 
ple concerned will do more to mobilise 
active support from the towns where 
marchers stop. It is necessary to encour- 
age industrial, commercial and social 
interest in supporting the campaign - 
from workplaces and by civil action (in 
significant numbers) and by autonom- 
ous organisation. Only then, when a 
civil population shows massive purpose, 
will progress be made. 

1 1 / 2 inches in diameter. Even at a range of 
50 yards its velocity is 47 metres per 
second and it is 65 metres per second at 
five yards. Also bullets are often 'doctored' 
with torch batteries and coins or sharpened 
to make them even more dangerous. 
Instructions issued to the British Army on 
the use of plastic bullets state: 
The rounds must not be fired at a range of 
less than twenty metres' 
They should be aimed so they strike the 
lower part of the target's body directly' 
The bullets are designed 'to disperse 
crowds' Over the past few months it is 
evident that the RUC and the British Army 
are firing plastic bullets at people when 
there is no disturbance whatsoever. Mrs 

Nora McCabe was fatally injured when she 
was hit on the head as she was standing at 
a street corner in conversation.. .the streets 
were quiet at the time. The number of 
incidences where people were hit on the 
head demonstrates that the Security 
forces are deliberately aiming for the head 
region to inflict the most damage. Herman 
insists 'they are used against rioters' Yet 
elderly ladies and four and a half year old 
boys seem very unlikely rioters' 
There have never been any deaths or serious 
injuries inflicted on the security forces in 
these circumstances no member of the security 
forces has ever been called to account for 
the death of or maiming of an innocent 

Contd. from frontpage 
Loyalist prisoners went on hunger strike coin- 
ciding with the republican prisoners first hunger 
strike. By doing so the UDA would have to 
accept the repupFican idea that there are 
Dolitical prisoners. Whereas the British govern- 
ment maintain it is a law and order situation 
and therefore only 'ordinary' criminals exist. 
Pressure was put on the loyalist prisoners to 
abandon their protest. The UDA were not pre- 
pared to in any way aid the republicans even at 
the expense of deserting their own prisoners. 

The majority turn a blind eye or are unaware of 
the sectarian nature of the state. With the 
abolition of Stormont, the direct rule regime 
hoping to remove the excesses of the orange 
state exposed the discrimination in housing 
and jobs through their various reports and 
commissions. The power of local councils to 
allocate houses was removed. When the Equal 
Opportunity Commission asked firms to sign 
a declaration advocating there would be no 
discrimination in jobs many loyalists didn't on 
the grounds that to do so would be to admit 
that there ever was discrimination against 

Various loyalist ideas exist about Catholics \ 
which amount to racialism.: they are lazy and 
work shy; their housing is bad because when 
given new homes they reduce them to slums; 
they are dirty ;they have large families due to 
the priests urging them to outbreed Protestants 
the catholic religion is all voodoo and 
connected with the devil. 

The protestant work ethic believes that 
through work you will achieve salvation and 
there is an inherent dignity in labour. You are 
encouraged to work hard, or to be seen to be 
working, and you shouldn't really be enjoy- 
ing it. 


They hold certain myths about their own com- 
munity. They look down on the Catholics 
who rely on state benefit as if they were the 
only ones who do so. Yet daily more and more 
Protestants are signing on. And for years their 
prime industries such as the shipyard which 
employs mainly Protestants has been relying 
on massive government subsidies to keep them 
open. This year alone it lost £32,000,000. Not 

to mention the other state handouts in the 
form of government orders, employment sub- 
sidies, low wage supplements etc. 

The Loyalists believe they are more progressive 
than the 'priest ridden' south. Yet they massive-: 
ly vote for the most reactionary MPs and coun- 
cillors who at every opportunity are anti-work- 
ing class, take the most right wing stands and 
do their best to ensure that any progressive 
legislation passed on the mainland doesn't 
effect Northern Ireland. 

Think of the sort of country the DUP would 
like to run: total control of education by the 
cleric (There goes the Darwin theory), abortion 
would cany a prison sentence for women, so 
would homosexulity for the lucky ones, harsher 
sentences for dope; and catholics need not 
apply of course. 


The Unionists may not be the monolithic 
block they once were but unfortunately the 
fragmentation has only meant that the 
unionist political parties now lie between 
right wing and fascist. The politicians vie with 
each other to see who can become the ultra 
loyalist and detect the slightest smell of a sell 
. out. 

Any signs of drifting towards the 'beggar-ridden' 
'Free' state is met immediately with the lambeg 
speeches and if need be the all-out opposition 
such as the U.W.C. strike. Dis-loyal to remain 

With every news item mentioning their future 
Queen, Lady Di, especially with the 12th 
coming up, this has stengthened the loyalist 
connection and the visual opportunity to demo- 
nstrate their link with Britain by ramming the 
union jacks down the fenians throats. 


In one factory the workers went on strike when 
the management removed the union jacks and 
other wedding paraphernalia from the work; 
place. They were forced to put them back 
again. In loyalist dominated factories through- 
out Ulster it is usual to find workers flaunting 
little loyalist momentoes. 

Daily we hear reports of reduncancies in major 
industries, which hit protestant workers now 
more than ever. They perhaps feel that any 
grass roots agitation or direct action would 
further de-stabilise the North and therefore play 
into the hands of the republicans. They there- . 
fore have little option but to rely on the 
politicians and trade union leaders to crawl to 
Thatcher. And we all know what a failure that 
has been. 

The Loyalists are held prisoners of their own 
making. Just after the collapse of the Unionist 
party some working class leaders questioned 
the role of their unionist masters in exploiting 
the working class protestants but ultimately 
they would have had to face up to the realis- 
ation of their own collaboration in discriminat- 
ion from which they benefitted. And this they 
were not prepared to do. 


Any progressive protestants who see through 

the contradictions of loyalism will challenge 
the right of the state to exist through its use 
of discrimination in housing and jobs. They, 
unfortunately are forced to keep quiet or get 
out of a loyalist community by intimidation. 
And it is almost impossible for any new 
generation to unmask loyalism for the reaction- 
ary face that it is. Protestants are isolated by a- 
sectarian mental and physical walL 


They rely on state information via TV with all 
its lies and distortions. Newspapers like the 
Belfast Telegraph and Newsletter only serve to 
reinforce their position and ideas. They listen 
to their leaders to interpret events and show 
them the way. Socialist organisations have little 
or no way of openly selling their papers and 
any papers which have been issued by predom- 
inantly working class groups like the UDA have 
been obviously sectarian and rascist. 

Occassionally tenious links are created between 
protestant and catholics such as in the latest 
agitation against rent increases. The organisers 
have tried to stay clear of involving any polit- 
icians less they should lose support from one 
side or another. Unfortunately if the campaign 
should receive widespread support it only takes 
the orange or green card to be played to smash 
any joint action. (The DUP have already made 
inroads in certain areas.) 

Passing the myths from father to son 

Lately young people step out of the loyalist 
mentality and begin to meet catholics through 
cultural activities. They may well reject the 
blatent sectarianism but this is at the expense 
of becoming apolitical, or a total rejection 
of anti-British activities because they see any 
opposition as an extension of the IRA camp- 

Some youths become 'super' loyalists and join 
the ranks of the various paramilitary groups. 
Ultimately the British state wants a bourgeois 
solution. It doesn't really matter to them what 
politicians are in power so long as British 
companies and multi-nationals can get cheap 
labour for their factories and sell their shitty 
goods. And even install a cruise missile here to 
protect the British Svay of life'. 


Now that the British Government and the 
multi-nationals are the main employers in 
the North it will be easy to apply economic 
sanctions on the loyalists to accomodate the 
A catholic politicians. They just have to start 
by withdrawing subsidies to ailing industries, 
welfare payments etc. No longer can the loyal- 
ists consider standing on their own feet espec- 
ially with the decline of any economic backing 
from the native capitalists whose support they 
did have at the state's inception. 

The British can take a chance on the loyalist 
backlash, but given the depressive economic 
future pointed out to them they will accept 
some form of power sharing or immigration.... 
but how would the republicans react and 
are there any alternatives to this bleak future. 


There's little enough for young peo- 
ple here, but now, the Harp Bar, 
the centre for punk music has clos- 
ed its doors to punks. Though not 
because punk is dead. The punk cul- 
ture has probably lasted longest 
here because it strongly reflects the 
state of things in Northern Ireland. 
And as most kids are on the dole, 
it is the easiest cultural image to ad- 
opt, as you don't need the money to 
buy fancy clothes. 


The owner of the Harp Bar didn't make 
enough profit because people weren't 
buying enough booze. It was a grotty 
place anyway. The owner, who doesn't 
give two fiddles as to what sort of mus- 
ic is put on, and quick to spot a good 
thing, has turned it into a Country & 
Western Club. Obviously he thinks the 
music is more conducive to people gett- 
ing pissed. Anything for a fast buck. 


There are a few clubs where pub owners 
let people run it themselves. They take 
the money on the door, which goes to- 
wards providing the music. Any live 
bands have, of course, to be acceptable 
to the pub owner. Ultimately, you end 
up working for the bar man lining his 


BJ's Rock Club in the cinema in Holy- 
wood obviously suffers from its locat- 
ion in attracting large crowds and there- 
fore is unable to pay for top groups. It 
aiso doesn't have a licence, and a lot of 
people feel they need to get stoned to 
enjoy themselves, but that's another 


Apart from that, there are also the var- 


ious straight clubs where you can listen 
all night to dead disco and fulfil your 
lifetime's role as a passive consumer, 
watching the spectacle. 


Many leisure activities are usually on 
someone else's terms, i.e. private enter- 
prise, church, state, school. It's almost 
impossible to organise our own activit- 
ies when all the resources belong to th- 
ese groups, and you have to conform to 
their rules to get to use them. 


Mainstream culture reflects and re- 
enforces the cunsumer, authoritarian 
capitalist society we are forced to live 
in. Resistance culture is a reaction to it 
and challenges, at times, the status quo 
in very dynamic new ways. However, 
the System often has the knack of ab- 
sorbing revolutionary ideas and selling 
them back to us at a profit. Crass find 
themselves constantly being ripped off 
by entrepreneurs. 


But wait, don't despair, think twice be- 
fore going to London, for soon there 
will be something round the corner in 

Harp Bar with instant 
plastic facade. 


El Faro's letter provoked much controversy 
some anger when the Collective discussed putt- 
ing it OUTTA CONTROL. Its merits were to 
dispel the illusion of 'independence' within the 
world of international capital; and an emphasis 
on the capitalist nature of imperialism. 

But some of us took great exception to several 
other statements. To say that the author is 'no 
more confused than most people over here, 
stricken as we are by the sectarian ghetto ment- 
ality' is condescending to say the least At worst 
it is a regurgitation of the British government's 
ideology, which has troops here peace-keeping 
between 2 hostile sectarian tribes. 

'El Falso' misses the point that the State itself 
institutionalised and creates sectarianism by 
discriminating against one section of the popul- 
ation in favour of another. The favoured section 
identifies with that State for the relative imp- 
rovements it achieves. 

Apparently there is 'no longer any social reality 
here'; life is the same as anywhere else. Nor is 
there any longer 'any real Irish culture', only the 
ruins of a great and heroic past'. We see that cap- 
italism has imposed itself on most social and 
cultural relations, but to assume that it alone has 
done so completely and successfully begs several 
questions - what is the role of the state, specific- 

ally the British state and its efforts to maintain 
'authority'; and why do we have a guerilla war, 
mass demonstrations, wholesale rejection of that 
authority ? Surely it is because there is resistance 
to imperialist control, including a cultural resist- 

Some of us are not sure of what 'great and heroic 
past' he's referring, but struggles such as the hun- 
ger strike, the street battles and demonstrations 
against overwhelming military and media odds 
are 'heroic' (if he insists on the term). That the 
methods, organisation and culture have elements 
of reaction is common to any social movement 
of rebellion, and is partly explained by the int- 
ensity of exploitation and repression, and partly 
by the small presence of revolutionary groups. 
On prisoners, 'There is absolutely no reason 
whatsoever to assume that one side will be likely 
to be more sympathetic than the other to anarch- 
ism'. Apart from the conclusions of analysis, we 
have found by experience that the prisoners who 
contact us, and who adopt anarchist positions, 
are those from the 'republican side'. We remain 
open to all approaches, as is evidenced by our 
Book Scheme, which is open to ALL prisoners. 
Finally, the constant use of the term 'Ulster' 
reflects a continuing respect for the ideas of the 
UDA. 'Ulster' refers not to the 9 counties, but to 
the arbitrarily-partitioned 6, which were big en- 
ough to prove viable as a state, but small enough 
to ensure a loyalist majority. It was used by 
those who became disillusioned with Britain's 
committment to a sectarian state. 


On Saturday 1 1th July, a working-class 

council estate in Leeds received a dawn 
visit from the anti-terrorist squad. A 
house was surrounded by armed police, 

their weapons trained on the windows 
and door, and the occupant - an anarchist 
- was woken up and taken away. The 

house was searched with a sniffer dog, 
floorboards were taken up, internal bull- 
etins of the North-East Anarchist Feder- 
ation and the Direct Action Movement 
were photographed and a metal detector 
was used in the garden. A next-door neigh- 
bour who came out to find out what was 
going on also had her house searched. She 
later contacted friends of the detained man 

to let them know what had happened. 

At the same time two other anarchists 
were raided and all three men were taken 
to a suburban police station where cells 
had been prepared for them four days pre- 
viously. Anarchists and others pestered 
the police station where they were held 
(the police, incidentally, denied all know- 
ledge of the detained men) all weekend. 

During their interrogations of the three 
anarchists, the political police revealed 
that --one of the anarchists, who had rec- 
ently been to Ireland on holiday, had 
been followed while in Dublin. They also 
revealed a detailed knowledge of those 
attending hunger-strike demonstrations 
and vigils. The political police said they 
had received information that the three 
anarchists were plotting to blow up the 
Royal Wedding but at 2.30 pm on Sunday 
afternoon, the three men were released 
without being charged with anything. 
This incident is yet one more proof that, 
not only in Northern Ireland, but increas- 
ingly in England too, a dawn visit by the 
political police is a fact of life for pol- 
itical dissidents. 


Why don't you subscribe to OUTTA CONTROL 
-GAINING GROUND ? £3 for 12 issues. If out- 
side Europe, and you want it sent Airmail, 
double the amount. All international payments 
in Ste rling money orders. 

]lf box is ticked, your subscription is due- 
send c/o Just Books, 7 Winetavern Street, 
Belfast 1. Tel: 0232 25426. 


H-Block Posters, produced by the Anarchist 
information Group. Give-away prices: 50p for 
50 posters. (Same address as above). 

NEW POSTER. 'Harrassment every day, signing 
on every week, Outta Control every so often'. 
Posters 5 pence each. Postage rates 15p per 1-10 
copies, 20p per 10-20 copies. 20 or more copies 
postage free. (Again, same address as above). 

CARNSORE 81 * Free Festival * 12-16 August 
Workshops on uranium mining, nuclear power, 
missiles etc * exhibitions * creche * top Folk * 
Rock * and new wave bands * NOT to be 

political. Do you realise what it's like to be 
locked up 23 hours a day ? Stuff the boozer to- 
night, send what you'd spend on a night's drink 
so that we can continue to send books free or 
at least half price to any prisoner who asks. 
Send to: Just Books, 7 Winetavern Street, 
Belfast BT1. Tel: Belfast 25426. 



The following letters were smuggled out of H Block 5, Long Kesh, in Northern Ireland. The prisoner who wrote 
them wants to explain the real background to the protest, which has of late culminated in the hunger strike - 
Six people have already died, and the government have shown no sign of changing their pig-headed attitude 
which they unashamedly display in so many aspects of their policies. 

In Britain there exists great confusion about the prisoners struggle. Primarily, there is little oppurtunity for them 
to make available the facts behind the protest. The National press - 'The Times; 'The Star,' and 'The Sun,' etc. 
serve only to reiterate the dogmatic and uncompromising statements made by the government in the House of 
Commons, the prisoners being portrayed as 'organised criminals' with 'criminally insane suicidal desires! Such 
distortions, lies and myths can only continue in the absence of information on the realities of the prison situation 
and life in Northern Ireland - The intimidation of having armed troops and police on the streets, arbitrary arrest 
'special' laws, non-jury courts, torture during interrogations.... silence cannot continue for much longer. 


This letter comes to you from H Block five, Long Kesh 
Concentration Camp, North-East Ireland. I write with 
genuine pen to urge you to voice your solidarity with this 
prison struggle to end H Block; the continued attrocity. 

We have made our stand, firmly entrenched in the uncomp- 
romising truth that we are not and never will allow ourselves 
to be called criminals. 

I realise that for you it is difficult to understand this struggle 
not having a proper representation of the facts at your 
disposal, and as the controlled media wields savagely the 
dagger of Brutus in a blatent character assasination of the 
Irish liberation struggle. I appeal to you to seek out the real 
facts so much disguised and distorted by the counter insurg- 
ents within "the powers that be!' 

Our protest embarked in 1976. We refused to wear prison 
garb, demanding the return of our rights as political prisoners 
- political status. Violent brutality, treachery and hypocracy 
have been the catalysts that dictated the escalation of our 
resistance erupting finally into the horrific and bloody 
climax of the two hunger strikes. 

Four of our comrades now lie coffined and murdered, but 
they are not the first victims of this fanatical conspiracy, 
four members of our solidarity committee were assasinated 
for daring to oppose the gauntlet reasoning of the British 
government in the political arena, many other assasinations 
failed, the most ruthless being that of H Block campaigner 
and marxist Miss Bernadette McAlisky. 

The first hunger strike of October ended when our five 
demands were met in the flexible wording of a 30 page 

document which would have allowed for an "internal settle- 
ment!' This suited us, and with hunger striker Sean McKenna 
having only a few hours to live we all breathed a sigh of 
great relief, only in just a few weeks time to be dealt a vicio- 
us and sickening blow by a dirty and grotesquely experienced 
fighter - Treachery!! - in the form of backtracking and 
renegue, this is the atmosphere in which it was hammered 
home that we must hunger strike again, this time to the 
death with no eleventh hour designs to defeat us. 

We took the initiative to end the no wash/no slop out protest; 
in a bid to encourage the "step by step" approach of what 
we had thought was an "internal settlement!' 

Then it became apparent that the controllers of this prison 
with whom we were, through our spokesman Bobby Sands, 
negotiating with wanted one thing — absolute conformity. 
So in the face of this intransigence, under duress we took the 
only course open; Hunger strike. 

Therefore the attrocity of H Block lies firmly on the shoul- 
ders of the British governments, all the deaths and injuries 
are from their hands, coupled with those who encourage 
their foul reasoning in this issue. British despotism. 

By you expressing your solidarity now in the many forms 
and methods open, you can help to achieve for us our rights. 
By helping us to secure our five basic demands and saving 
our comrades lives, you can bring about an end to yet one 
more tale of injustice - Thankyou. 

PRO H.5, L.K.R, P.O.W. 

"My position is in contrast to that of other prisoners, 
lama political prisoner." - Bobby sands R.I.P. 




4th July, 1981. 


I write in the hope of enlightening you and encouraging 
your solidarity to bring about an end to -the corruption of 
criminalisation and the return of our rights as political 

The H Blocks were designed on a parallell with Stutgart ' 
prison in West Germany, they are unique isolation units. The 
prison regjeme in Long Kesh where the H Blocks are located 
are corrupt and ruthlessly bigoted, the counter insurgency 
conspiracy of criminalisation was released early in 1976 
with waves of petty crime by small time thugs recruited by 
British intelligence. While the building of the H Blocks cont- 
inued half remission was introduced, cutting the number of 
Special Category prisoners down rapidly. Here is the first 
hint - why build more jail compartments when the jail pop- 
ulation was now easily manageable after the introduction of 
half-remission? So, we have men back on the streets, the 
spates of robberies and burglaries continue. Next comes the 
screaming headlines - "Republican Godfathers" - "Chicago 
style raids of republican dens" etc. etc. ..The illustration 
begins to take shape. So too do the hideous interrogation 
centres raise their grotesque limbs and start with sickening 
haste to deliver victims back (viathe Diplock non-jury 
courts and fabricated and grossly inadequate evidence) to * 
the "new Maze'* only this time as criminals and not special 
category prisoners. Many of the men released on half remiss- 
ion soon found themselves back in jail again, serving longer 
terms for alleged offences, similar in nature to their first 
conviction with one difference, due to expedience their sent- 
ences had in some cases doubled. 

Resistance began early, the very first Republican prisoner 
sentenced after the removal of political status on March 1st 
1976 went on the blanket - because he refused to be 
criminalised, and so the worlds greatest prison struggle 
began: reaching it's brutal climax when four men, Francis 
Hughes, Patsy CTHara. Raymond McCreesh and Bobby 
Sands MP died on hunger strike - because they refused to 
be criminalised!! 

You must realise that there is no moral justification for the 
attrocity that has occured due entirely to British govern- 
ment inflexibility, intransigence and sick fanaticism. There 
is no moral justification for the removal of political status. 
This talk of a school for guerilla warfare is all nonsense, We 
could train and educate ourselves in the use of war materials 
and develop politics under any circumstances, and the 
blanket has taught us a more important lesson - endurance, 
determination. Many of us have developed the hatred we 
lacked for our enemies, innocence has become imbittered. 
We educate ourselves on the blanket, it is not foolish to 
imagine that we will not do so under different circumstances. 

f ~ ~/> -vc 

'* ~-~ Z 't^' ************ M ,<*rv,,;o, f7r.> . 

Notes such as this, written on toilet paper and smuggled out of the 
prison arc the only means by which the prisoners can communicate 
on their conditions. 

Yet there is 








The establishment says to our claim for free association that 
it would mean hundreds of men running about doing what 
they want, which is ridiculous because each segregated wing 
of a H Block holds a maximum of 50 men only!! and thats 
a fact. Understand now political status was not removed 
because of any moral reasoning, but simply as a means to 
alienate those engaged in the freedom struggle for the people 
Any other excuse is mere fabrication. 

Criminalisation has been stalled in it's track, crippled by the 
solid resistance in these blocks, but the British government 
refuse to admit defeat, and while we continue to encourage 
a solution by our willingness to negotiate, the British govern- 
ment murder by intransigence continues to spew forth 

The Brits must leave Ireland, the Irish people must be return- 
ed the right of self determination. You can, by expressing 
your solidarity, help Ireland to achieve these rights by 
joining the massive siegemound we have erected to collapse 
the continued attrocity of H Block: Thankyou . 

"Freedom, equality and peace" 
PRO H.5. 

For additional information on Ireland contact: 

Sold with Outta Control 10p (outside Ireland 15p) 





demands, but true emancipation begins neither at the 
polls, nor in courts. It begins in woman's soul. History 
tells us that every oppressed class gained true liberation 
from its masters through its own efforts, ft is necessary 
that woman learn that lesson, that she realise that her 
freedom will reach as far as her power to achieve her 
freedom reaches. EMMA GOLD MA N 1911 

minmnG thc 


The vast majority of working moth- 
ers have to make their own child- 
care arrangements privately, wheth- 
er it is all day for the wider-fives or 
after-school care for their older 
children. Many children are looked 
after by husbands, relatives and 
friends; a handful will be attending 
one of the five day-care centres in 
Northern Ireland and over 50% 
will be formally looked after by 

Childminders are the largest single 
group of people working in the 
home and are, with one or two exc- 
eptions, women. Their job has little 
status within society and is very 
poorly paid. Most often their wages 
come out of the mother's wage 
(about 60% of average male wage) 
and childminders know that they 
cannot ask for more because it is 
not there to be given. As women, 
we are given virtually no recognition 
of the importance of child-rearing 
which is combined with all the dom- 
estic chores, and many men do not 
recognise it as a job at all. This is a 
view commonly held about child- 
minders as well, some have even 
thought that childminding was repreh- 
ensible (a view notextended to the' 
nannies of wealthy children); even 
though recent studies * have shown 
that many of them put lots of ener- 
gy and effort into their work, teach- 
ing and enjoying the children, and 
they may spend up to half their 
wages on expenses such as food and 
drink, toys, equipment, wear and 
tear, etc.. 

Since WW2, more and more women 
have been working outside the home 
and the increase is greatest amongst 
married women with young children 
- The depression is biting deep, and 
it is now a financial necessity to 
have two wages coming into the 
home each week to avoid poverty - 
there has been no corresponding 
increase in child-care facilities. The 
dilemma is that there are fewer and 

fewer jobs around, and with female 
unemployment rising 3 times as 
fast as male unemployment, not 
only are working mothers being for- 
ced back into the home, but some 
are likely to become childminders 
themselves, just as the need for them 
is dwindling. 

In some areas of the U.K., child- 
minders have come together to set 
up local support groups where 
ideas, toys, equipment, play mater- 
ials can be discussed and exchanged 
- isolation can be broken down, and 
links with children's centres and 
drop in centres can be made. 
The need for flexible child-care 
an essential choice for all mothe: 

and children, whether it be for 
couple of hours a day in a pla)§ 
group or all day in a centre or; 
a childminder. It is a topic whW 
has not received the attention 9§ 
deserves; seen by the State, wit| 
its laissez faire attitude, as a cheap 

alternative. We have to be aware 
of all the possibilities and choices 
open to women and children, w( 
emphasis on what children want 
well. Older children don't always 
want to be thrown in with the 
babies, for example ! Nor do we 
want to be exploiting other women 
whilst keeping our own family 
solvent ! ^\ 

The Women's Movement in the 
North has always recognised the 
importance of day care and after 
school care for children. Action 
has been confined to calling on 
the State for more money to 
provide state nurseries. One or two 
groups, like the creche committee 
in the Lower Crescent Resource 
Centre have been trying to do it 
themselves but not particulary 
successfully. The latter have been 
trying for eighteen months and 
are now snookered over premises. 
A flexible, non sexist, libertarian 
day centre would be a vivid 
example and a positive step in the 
right direction. 

Orily six months after Ronald 
Reagan assumed the office of 
President, feminists in the U.S.A. 
are finding that they are having to 
reassess their position and take a 
hard look at both their resources 
and their strategies for the future. 
By the end of the 1970s they might 
have been forgiven for taking a 
breathing space. American women 
had achieved a great deal in just 
over ten years in terms of education, 
legal and work opportunities. Vast 
amounts of funding had been used 
in feminist research in setting up 
alternative action programmes and 
in shelters for the victims of rape 
and battering. Feminists, although 
still fighting on issues, felt secure 
in what they had gained so far and 
some women were already complain- 
ing that the energy had left the 
American women's movement; too 
many women were now content to 
sit back and enjoy their gains. 

Unfortunately though they were to see 
these gains as very short lived. Things were 
changing in the USA during the 70s, the 
most important being the prestige of the 
USA itself in the eyes of the world. 
Gradually through the decade the nation 
that was used to high standards of living, 
to denying the existence of poverty with- 
in its boundaries, to having the largest say 
in world affairs, found that despite all 
efforts, inflation was rampant, the dollar 
wasn't buying so much anymore, unempl- 
oyment began to affect the white middle 
and working classes in a significant way 
whereas before only blacks and porta 
ricans or mexicans had been affected. 
The third world wasn't doing what it was 
told anymore particulary the oil shieks 
who put prices and caused even more 
problems. Finally in Iran, Americans 
were being held to ransom and there was 
nothing the USA could do except feel the 
eyes of the world watching and laughing 
at them. This came as a tremendous 
shock to many Americans used to being 
regarded as the biggest and the best. In 
particular it upset many of the members 
of big business there who felt that their 
'once great nation' was losing hold of all 
that it had achieved. 

This mood began to pervade American 
politics and the searching question, why? 
left the stage open for those who could 
put forward a strong, plausible answer to 
the question.. ..where have we gone wrong? 
America has always been a society of huge 
divides and also one of a very -strong 
conservative tradition. During the 1960s 
the ultra right wing out of favour in the 
period of civil rights reform and liberal 
thinking had managed to pour much of its 
energies into the Vietnam war effort but 
once the war ended they were left with 
tight organisations and groupings but 
really no where to go. It is at this point 
that the right wing begins to turn its 
attention to home and to American 
politics and starts to build up networks 
and alliances. By the end of the 70s the 
'New Right' as it came to be known under 
the umbrella of the National Conservative 

Political Action Committee (NCPAC) 
came to represent a wide coalition of 
structured lobbies at Congress, research 
foundations, fundamental reHgious bodies 
and single issue campaings such as the 
Right to Life Committee, the Gun Lobby, 
the Daughters of the Revolution, the pro- 
riuclearlobby and many others. Their 
message was pure and simple- America 
had once been great and could easily be 
great again.... how? By ending all wishy 
washy liberalism of the 60s and 70s, by 
ending 'government handouts' (ie welfare) 
to those who wouldn't work, by building 
up defence, by moving against groups who 

the voting population registered a protest 
both at the choice they were faced with 
on election day and signified their refusal 
to have anything to do with the sham by 
not voting. On a minority vote Reagan 
became President and immediately set 
about rewarding the NCPAC for all its ' 

In January he announced one of the 
highest increases in the defence budget 
since the second world war— he also 
increased the amount of nuclear weapons 
the USA had in particular he restarted the 
research into the neutron bomb for the 
future. At the same time he announced 
major cuts in welfare and in government 
funding immediately affecting the poor, 
the sick the elderly and all other agencies, 
eg: consumer affairs, shelters for victims 
of batters^ women's centres, legal advice 

were undermining the true American 
values of traditional morality and most 
importantly the family. In other words, 
to move against the poor, ethnic groups, 
feminists, homosexuals, people arguing 
against nuclear power... all these had 
helped or colluded in the downfall of 
America. Their message contained the 
potent myth that was swallowed whole 
by many white (often working class) 
Americans, and in cases, blacks as well 
who believed that the restoration of the 
old would bring about a change in their 
situation at this time. 

Ronald Reagan, the one time actor, 
moved onto the stage to play the greatest 
part of his entire life shrewdly realising 
that the NCPAC had resources in terms 
of mailing lists, access to TV through the 
various TV preachers that 100 million 
Americans watch every week, and in time 
and energy which he could use, but, if 
they acted independently in his favour 
then their spending would not be counted 
as part of his campaign expenses and so 
he could not be accused of overspending 
on his government fixed allowance for the 
Presidential campaign. Undoubtedly, the 
NCPAC's help was one of the crucial 
factors in the campiagn but it was help 
given with strings attached. Not only 
would Reagan be expected to braodly 
agree with their ideas he would also be 
expected to support the various single 
issue campaigns within the NCPAC group- 
ing-and he was to fulfill these promises. 

Reagan was elected by one of the smallest 
polls in American history. Almost 48% of 

by limiting severely if not shutting down 
entirely their work. 

He publicly supported the gun lobby even 
though he was shot himself. Two days • 
after his inauguration (which costed SI 1 
million) he invited anti-aborionists into 
his office to pledge support. At the . 
moment he is attempting to cut federal 
funding for all sex education programs 
run in public schools. The backlash then is 
well underway and American feminists are 
beginning to reel at the losses of hard 
fought battles. 

The abortion issue provides a good illust- 
ration of their situation. In 1973 feminists 
took a case to the Supreme Court over 
abortion. They claimed that the fact that 
abortion was illegal in some states of the 
USA was inherently unequal as it put 
women in an inferior position to men in 
terms of their freedom of action-it was 
therefore unconstitutional. The Supreme 
Court found in their favour and so all the 
states had to repeal anti-abortion legislat- 
ion immediately. (The USA system of 
government is complicated. All governm- 
ent comes from the Constitution written 
in 1776. It is the law in the USA. Govern- 
ment is divided into three branches, the 
Congress-it legislates, the President— carr 
carries out legislation and foreign affairs, 
and the Supreme Court-guardians of 
the Constitution. Each of the 50 states 
also have their own governments who have 
the right to make laws for that state alone. 
To clarify the situation then, when the 
Congress legislates new laws, they do NOT 
automatically become part of the constit- 


by Seamus Finnegan 
directed by Julia Pascal 

It was a strange experience, 
spending a week in London 
escaping the 12th celebrations, to 
to go into an Islington pub at 
lunchtime and find oneself living 
through a play about the lives of 
three Belfast women, all born the 
same year as me, and educated 
by the same order of nuns' as I 

The play concerned one day in the life 
of the women. Bridget is happily 
living in London with a man she has a 
good relationship with; Patricia, a 
teacher, also living in London, is plan- 
ning to return to Belfast to take part 
in 'the struggle' - while Fionnuala 
paces her cell in Armagh Jail, defiant 
and bitter. Through dialogue, mono- 
logue and appeals to the audience, 
their lives unfold. The bare stage, with 
only one chair as prop, became trans- 
formed into an arena where the claims 
of nationalism and the counter claims 
of feminism confronted each other. It 
wasn't always an equal match, due to 
the playwrights presentation of the 
situation, but it was thought provoking 
and it certainly raised many fundamen- 
tal issues. 

Patricia, frustrated by the indifference 
of the British, their liberalism a mask 
which barely disguises their chauvinism 
and contempt for other nationalities, 
cried out in anger that she could no 
longer live in the heart of the enemy. 
Not only was she, a member of an 
oppressed country, living in the imper- 
ialists' capital city, she also felt her 
psyche to be different, her whole 
manner of relating to people, of expres- 
sing herself. An analogy could be made 
(but wasn't) to the experience that 
many women have in relation to men. 
Both have been colonised/oppressed. 
But Bridget, while accepting much of 
what Patricia feels, argues that it is 
impossible to go back, to return to the 
dead weight of the Catholic Church, 
forced to conform to the image of 
Catholic womanhood, pressurised into 
marriage and regular church attendance. 
Her choice is her survival as a woman. 
The paradox is that as an Irish, ex cath- 
olic woman, she can live more freely in 
London than she could in Belfast. In 
the meantime, Fionnuala serves her 
sentence in Armagh, on lock up as part 
of the penalty for protesting her right 
to be treated as a political prisoner. As 
one would expect she is uncomprom- 
ising in her Republicanism. The audien- 
ce is made to feel uncomfortably 
aware ot the reality of ghetto life, of the 
material reasons why someone would 
i choose to devote their life to armed 
varfare against the British state. Finne- 

gan, a Belfast man, uses the character 
of Fionnuala to bludgeon his (obvious- 
ly liberal/left) English audience into a 
recognition of their guilt-because they 
are members of the oppressing race. 
Its a nationalistic diatribe and it anger 
ed me. It appeared to say that inter- 
national solidarity ,vas a myth, and that 
racial differences were overwelming. At 
one point Fionnuala lashes out against 
English feminists for not expressing 
support for her, declaring that 'my 
sisters are the men in Long Kesh', 
because they were united in military 
struggle while feminists were concerned 
with the unimportant question of the 
universality of women's oppression. 

I had the feeling that if the play was perf- 
ormed in a more political setting— for 
example, at a woman's conference, or at a 
meeting on Ireland— it would have provok- 
ed an angry response from people who 
would (and quite rightly) have refused to 
be guilt tripped in this heavy handed way. 
Perhaps Finnegan chooses his prey care- 
fully? But despite everything, the play has 
some important things to say, and we 
could all benefit from discussing its con- 
tent However it would be a brave person 
who would put it on a a venue where we 
could see it! 



Produced by the Council for the 
Status of Women. Co-op Books, 
Price £1 70. 

Anyone interested in discovering 
what are the main problems facing 
women in Ireland today can find 
most of them voiced in this book, 
which is a report of the Women's 
Forum held in Dublin in November 
1980. The two day conference 
was attended by over 1 000 women 
who discussed issues ranging over 
health, education, violence against 
women, employment, lesbianism, 
women in rural areas and women 
in conflict situations. 

The book attempts to summarise both 
the factual information presented by 
speakers, together with the comments 
and views aired in the workshops - not an 
easy task as anyone who has attended a 
large conference will realise. It is the 
range of views that I felt to be one of 
the book's strongest points, for they 
show that increasing numbers of Irish 
women, not just feminists, are becoming 
more aware of the problems facing them, 
and more vocal about what is needed in 
terms of legislative, social and economic 

This conference was planned as a follow- 
up in Ireland to the United Nations Con- 
ference on Women, held in Copenhagen 
in 1980. The Copenhagen Conference 
recommended various measures for all 
governments to take to eliminate the 
discrimination and unequal ity that take 
place within the family, and at national, 
local and family level by implementing 
a programme for change. In theory, this 
progress is then monitored at inter- 
national level, as all governments are re- 
quired to produce reports to the U.N. 
The Irish Womens Conference received 
government funding, and, in the closing 
address, the then Minister for State, 
Department of Labour expressed on be- 
half of the government, his keen interest 
in receiving the National Plan of Action 
from the Conference. I wonder how he'll 
react to the following recommendations 
that arose from the Workshops:- 

'An end to the Catholic Church's 
control over education in Ireland' 

'A national programme of education 
covering sexuality in general and lesbian- 
ism in particular, to take place in schools, 
community and health centres 

'Encourage and facilitate the establish- 
ment, particularly in local communites, 
of plans for the systematic development 
of child-care services and facilities.' 
Each Workshop produced lists of radical, 
far-reaching demands calling for divorce 
legislation, sex education in schools, alt- 
ernatives to prison, repeal of the Family 
Planning Act and more. 

The Problem is that a set of demands 
don't constitute a plan of action, how- 
ever 'correct' they may be. There was no 
discussion on how women can work for 
the changes in society that they want. 
While the book is interesting, because it 
is Irish women speaking out, it doesn't 
deserve the sub-title, a Plan of Action.. 


Youi poems, stories and drawings wanted for 
a new book of your work to be published 
later this year. Send things of any length and 
any subject, with your name, age and address 
to: Young People Writing, 7 Winetavern St., 
t BT1. Tel: 25426 (day) 




AT E.B.S. 


members of ASTMS, have been 
on strike since April 29th at the 
Educational Building Society... 
Nineteen branch offices in Dublin, 
one in Cork and the head office 
are included. The majority of the 
striking workers are youngwomen 
on strike for the first time. The 
pickets every day are almost 100% 
women. It is a long and bitter 
dispute and still looks a long way 
from victory for the workers. They 
are seeking parity with the Irish 
Civil Service Building Society whicr 
which would mean an average 
increase of £ 1 0.84 per week. 

The EBS are refusing to concede 
the claim which would cost them 
in the region of £92,000 per year. 
In the 1 2 months up to December 
1980 their profits went up to 14.79 
to £2. 5m, their assets stand at 
£2 15.6m and they are ranked at the 

the 1 2th biggest financial instit- 
ution in the country. So who 
believes that they can't afford to 
pay? They thought nothing of 
spending £18,500 on potted plants 
for the head office or of giving a 
gift of £2000 to the Garda Boat 

The EBS are attempting to main- 
tain their usual service by using 
non-union staff, many of whom 
were recently given promotion in 
return for staying out of the Union. 
They are also trying to pressurise 
strikers back to work - in Cork the 
striking branch manager is being 
threatened with foreclosure of his 

So far there has been little move- 
ment in the dispute even though 
the workers have been out for ov- 
er 3 months now. Recent talks 
with management produced noth- 
ing acceptable to the workers. Two 
conciliation conferences have res- 
ulted in no more than an offer of 
parity with the Irish Permanent 
which would mean virtually no ex- 
tra money, but would be tied to an 
increase of four hours on the wor- 
king week. 

The strikers had a very successful 
march through Dublin about a 
month ago, to highlight the fact 
that they were still out on strike. 
Over 200 people took part in the 
lunch-time march through the 
city, and workers from other 

I think, if women don't like the way 
we run things here, they can go 
back where they came from. That's 
what I think. 

building societies joined the march 
in solidarity. In June a very good 
social was held for the strikers in a 
Dublin pub and was supported by 
trade union activists, H-Block act- 
ivists, anarchists and socialists.. It 
raised £60 for the strike fund, but 
apart from that it gave the strikers 
a boost to know how many people 
supported them. 

The strikers are appealing to other 
trade unionists and members of 
the public for support. Collections 
have been organised in other build- 
ing societies, but with the strike 
dragging on so long many of the 
workers are suffering financial pro- 
blems. They ask people not to 
cross their picket lines and that 
mortgage repayments be held back 
until the strike is settled. They 
also want postal workers to refuse 
to deliver mail to the E.B.S. , and 
some progress has been made on 
that within the post office. 
Meanwhile, however, the strike 
goes on, and there is no sign of the 
management coming to a decent 
settlement. One of the strikers 
said ' They seem intent on beating 
us. We therefore need lots more 
solidarity and help from other 
trade unionists in order to win. No- 
one of us wants to be walking up 
and down here for months. We 
need to start collections everywhere 
we can and involve members from 
other unions with ideas on how we 
can win.' 

The Strike Comnittee can be con- 
tacted through Mary Devine, 
c/o E.B.S. Strike Committee, 
A.S.T.M.S., 38 Lower Leeson St., 
Dublin 2. 

7 Vtfoetevero Street, Belfast l 

JUST BOOKS an alternative bookshop run collectively by anarchists. Its aim is to 

provide radical literature in Ireland and beyond, literature that is censored by most of 
the straight bookshops whose over-riding concern is profit. This booklist is one of a 
series due to appear periodically, most non-establishment topics of interest to be i 
covered. Suggestions on additions or general advice is welcomed. 
We can also order specific titles you may want, though those deemed 'ideologically 
unsound' will most likely be out of print. Unfortuneately we need finances to survive 
and this explains the rather precise nature of the postal rates for sending books, and the 
need for money with your order. In the case of prisoners, books are either free, or 
half price paid for by their friends on the outside. Any prisoner who contacts us is 
welcome to this service. Much thanx....Just Books Collective. 


FREEDOM...fortnightly, 25p. Regular, 100 years old. 

Anarchist Worker...occasional...20p....Dublin anarchist worker paper. 

Fifth Estate... occasional. ..30p... American, graphically inspiring. 

Bayou la Rose.. .30p... occasional. ..American, plenty on ecology. 

Xtra...30p... occasional. ..English, and as they say, 'paper for the armchair terrorist: 

Open Road..'.45p... Ambitious Canadian paper with an internationalist outlook. 

Anarchy.. .30p.... very occasional... sometimes stimulating. 

Peace News.. .25p...fortnightly... sympathetic to anarchism, plenty on anti-nuclear activities. anarchic theoretical journal. 
Gaining Ireland, elsewhere 1 0p.. .monthly. ..Belfast anarcha-feminist paper, 
always stimulating, topical, well layed-out and original. 

Outta Control... 5p. in Ireland, elsewhere 10p... monthly.. .news and views of the Belfast 
Anarchist Gaining Ground, it innovates rather than follows. 


ution but arc measured against the constit- 
ution by the Supreme Court who decide 
whether the new law is constitutional or 
not. But the Supreme Court cannot bring 
an action against itself an individual or 
group must do that. Finally there is prov- 
ision within the constitution to bring . 
about amendments which are added on— 
this is done when two thirds of the Con- 
gress vote in favour and % of all of the 
50 states vote likewise-as this is quite a 
tall order it is not surprising that only 26 
amendments have been added in 200 

To get back then to the abortion issue, 
pro-choice groups are now afraid that anti 
abortionists will try, given their huge 
majorities in Congress, and in all the State 
legislatures, and their Presidential support 
to bring about a Right to Life amendment 
to the Constitution which will effectively 
make abortion illegal once again by 
declaring the fetus to be a human person 
and immediately stop all doctors from 
performing abortions. It may also affect 
those contraceptives deemed to be aborti- 
facient in their action, eg: the IUD and 
certain brands of Pill. What worries the 
pro-choice groups most is the fact that 
they believe the anti-abortionists will 

So from a position of security given the 
1973 Supreme Court decision feminists in 
the USA are once again faced with a hard 
struggle to retain their control over their 
own bodies. Many feminists are now 
seeing that they cannot depend on legal 
reasoning or the courts nor does the 
fact that the majority of Americans supp- 
ort a woman's right to choose offer any 
protection. In electoral terms the moral 
majority is in power and means to change 
things to their liking. Once won, rights are 
never immutable, they can always be 
taken away. The backlash in the USA has 
come down heavily on the women's move- 
ment, it is being cited as the chief cause 
in the breakdown of the family and home 
life seen as the basic comer stone of a 
strong America. The new witch hunt has 

What then are the feminists doing? Having 
let organisations fall away, and support an 
and energy reach an all time low- Amer- 
ican feminists are starting to regroup 
again to build up resources and money 
and energy all of which the opposition has 
in abundance. It is a salutory lesson for 
all feminists that the fight never ends in 
this type of society that one gain doesn't 
entirely defeat the enemy and that while 
we rest on our laurels, they are still 
organising and planning for the future. 

Already in the USA people are realising 
what Reagan represents.. ..his plans to 
make America great means their hardship, 
their poverty while business never had it 
so good. But they also know that they 
are stuck with him for a while yet. 
Feminists in the USA are on the march 
again.. .who knows what will happen by 


The Human Life Bill has already passed the 
committee stage in the US senate. It denies 
all abortions and IUDs and progestegon pills 
arc defined as murder. Women in America are 
calling for international solidarity. Letters 
protesting at the Human Life Bill, Human 
Life Amendment, withdrawal of Medicaid for 
abortions and to all restrictive legislation to 
be sent to The Hon Strom Thurmond, Chair- 
man and Members of the Senate Judiciary 
committee, Room 2226 Dirksen Senate 
Office Building, Washington DC 20510, US. 
and to Reagan. He supports the bill- use 
strong language. 


When worries over the safety of the pill 
as a contraceptive became widespread 
some years ago- one of the chief concerns 
of women was the possibility of blood 
clots. The building up of blood clots in 
women using the Pill did not seem to be 
because these women had a tendency to 
build up more clots than other women- 
rather women who were susceptible seem- 
ed to be unable to break up the clumps . 
of red blood cells as they formed (a 
normal occurence in healthy people). 

Recent investigations of this problem 
indicate that clot prone women seem to 
have low levels of protein in their blood 
which is released when a clot forms 
and is the body's natural defence mechan 
ism against such attack. Further investig- 
ations revealed that women who take 
regular exercise have higher levels of 
protein than less active women by as 
much as 50% depending on the amount 
of exercise undertaken. Researchers are 
now suggesting that women who use the 
pill should take some form of regular 
exercise and so minimise the risk of 
blood clotting. 

Many women gave up the pill after the 
scare stories and there was according to 
FPA figures a large switch in contraceptive 
methods particulary to those thought to 
be safe with minimal if any side effects. 
Consequently many women turned to 
spermicides for protection and the drug 
companies moved quickly into this lucrat- 
ive market the number of foams, jellies 
creams and suppositories available, 
multiplying over the last few years. All 
these products contain sperm killing 
agents and the advertising surrounding 
them was often misleading because many 
manufacturers indicated that these prod- 
ucts could be used on their own-while 
the FPA has recommended their use > 
ONL Y in conjunction with a sheath or 

Apart from this though, these contracept- 
ives have always enjoyed a good reputatiot 
in terms of health safety, but if the 
tentative findings of a recent report are 
verified by more research, then this 
reputation my end. Research indicates 
that women who get pregnant while using 
this form of contraceptive (a fairly 
significant number) may be more likely to 

have children with birth defects. In 
the research program women who got 
pregnant while using spermicides around 
the time of conception had babies who 
suffered from TWICE as many severe 
birth defects as did the infants of non- 
users. It is thought that sperm which 
survive the onslaught of spermicide in the 
vagina and later become implanted in the 
uterus stand a good chance of being 
damaged in the process. 

At the moment the research findings can 
only be regarded as tentative and cannot 
prove a conclusive link between spermU 
cides and defects in babies but the research' 
ers do suggest that women wishing to 
become pregnant should give up spermk' 
ides at least two months before doing so, 
and stop using them immediately they 
suspect that they may be pregnant. 


In America the UA Food and Drug Admin- 
istrations ants to stop the sale of sea 
sponges which in recent years have been 
used by women fed up with paying high 
prices for tampons, as substitutes for the 
tampons. The sponges can be inserted into 
the vagina and collect menstrual blood 
there- although they are expensive they 
can be used over and over again abd so 
work out much cheaper than commercially 
produced tampons which yield a very high 
profit rate for their producers. Sponges , 
have also been widely favoured since the 
discovery of Toxic Shock Syndrome which 
was linked with the use of tampons partic- 
ulary those which were not 100% cotton. 
But the FDA are arguing that although 
the sponges may be totally natural they 
nonetheless contain quantities of sand 
which is impossible to remove, they are 
also likely to be contaminated with poll- 
utants because they come from the sea and 
no sea is no without pollution. Lastly 
because of their organic nature they 
provide a good basis for germs to grow 
and are difficult to keep in a sterile cond- 
ition between periods-all of which can . 
lead to irritation of the vaginal walls and 
in severe cases to infection of the area. 
The FDA calls sponges 'experimental 
medical devices' whose safety has yet to 
be proved. 


The Central Library is one of the few places 
in down town Belfast that actually welcomes 
children. There they had their own space, 
plenty of reasonably good books and inspir- 
ation. It was, of course, very much under 
the control of the women workers, but a far 
move all the same from the authoritarian 
nature of most primary schools. 

Now we hear that this autonomous space is 
to be done away with, the 'kids section' 
shunted into the back of the adult section 
where quiet and boredom is the highlight of 
the day. The workers are angry... .the person 
responsible for the chop is the aptly named all his wisdom he has 
decided to replace the kids space with a 
business reference section. The workers in 

the different departments are isolated. There 
is no solidarity to tell Mr.Crawl to fuck off. 
Crawl does what he wants and has the reput- 
ation in the professional library circles as 
having more power than sense. Crawl is 
employed by the Education and Library 
Board who know of many of his antics but 
are content to let him continue in charge, 
Crawl has been known to physically threat- 
en some of his staff.. ..the arch patriarch. 
Twelve years ago library staff went on strike 
basically because of him. Crawl saw to it 
that those involved in the strike got demoted 
and sent out somewhere else. The three who 
supported him got promoted and remain his 
assistants always at his beck and call. 

The workers have already had a half day 
strike over the issue.. ..Mr.Crawl's plush 
office is just up the stairs. Are there 50 kids 
who would like to spend the afternoon 


This article continues the discussion on the recent rioting in England. 
Last month 's article was written collectively with an Irish feminist who 
had lived in Liverpool until recently. The following has been written by 
a London anarchist on the rioting in Brixton. 

Recent riots in many" parfsof London 
and other English cities are leading some 
people to draw parellels between the 
developing situation there and that of 
rioting in Northern Ireland. I will, for the 
purpose of this article, be using Brixton 
as an example of the situation in England; 
this being the area I feel most qualified 
to write about, as I have been involved in 
the work of a Bookshop there. 

Rio's in Brixton have had, exclusively, 
a spontaneous beginning, usually as a 
result of a particular incident involving 
over policing on the streets, or following 
examples of police harassment. There is 
no doub' that the massive force of police 
deployed in Brixton (ostensibly to try to 
cope with a soaring crime rate), is a ' 
source of great anger and frustration with- 
in the community there. Not only are the 
sheer numbers seen as an unnecessary 
harassment, but also the methods of 
questioning and intimidation have led 
some people to describe the area as one 
of occupation by a force that is neither 
trusted or wanted. The riots are certainly 
not racial in nature, nor are they in any- 
way engineered by outside tacticians, as 
some media commentators would have ' 
their public believe. If one was pushed 
to describe the nature of the riots, assum 
ing that one could narrow it down any 
way, the nearest one could come to 
would be to say that they are, broadly, 
anti- authoritarian. People, in clashes, with 
the police, are saying that they want 
control of their own streets and are 
gaining the confidence generally to rebel 
against all which oppresses them. All 
places or people seen as authoritarian can 
be the subject of attacks in the rebellion 
that follows. Looting has been seen partly 
as an attack on consumerist values and 
as an attempt to get essential goods which 
many people cannot afford. Unemploy- 
ment, bad housing, creaking social services 
and racial discrimination, provide an under 
tow of discontent, but no single factor can 
be called the root cause of rebellion. 

Police tactics in riots can be seen to have 
developed quite quickly and a familiar 
pattern of isolation dispersal and ultimate 
containment has follwed, plus familiar 
series of raids and arrests in attempts to 
continue the process of intimidation and 

control. Various shades of political organ- 
isations (not involved in the riots nor 
tigators of them) have sought to capital 
on the situation after the event, but 
lave in the main been met with the 
scorn that they deserve. Countless media 
persons and politicians have stalked the 
streets looking for good copy and each 
way the people lose out and their voice 
goes largely misunderstood or ignored, or 
re-interpreted to serve various vested 

In the aftermath of riots, when all areas are 
tense — seemingly waiting retribution of 
various sorts, or seeking to make something 
out of new found confidence— police raids 
and arrests have created unease and unrest 
leading to anti social acts of mugging and 
threats between various distinct sections 
of the community. In some cases, minority 
groups feel more vulnerable and unless 
steps are taken quickly to improve commun- 
nication and understanding the situation 
can only get worse. 

From this brief outline, we can begin to 
draw certain parellels between recent 
events in England and some in Northern 
Ireland. Similar patterns of spontaneous 
rioting against an occupying force emerge 
Details of weapons used— bricks, petrol 
bombs, sticks, barricades, make twin lists. 
However, it should be noted that the 
enemy in Northern Ireland is a much more 
directly identifiable one, and its powers 
far greater, its weaponry more sophisticated 
its tactics seasoned with practice. Indeed, 
the campaign of resistance to the enemy in 
Northern Ireland is fought consistently 
on may fronts, as it has to be, and riots are 
often an uncoordinated expression of 
frustration and anger rather than concerted 
attacks by blacks on whites in Brixton, 
where one group is singled out for attention 
if it appears to be more privileged or part 
of the system of oppression. Unequal 
opportunities in employment exist in both 
England and Northern Ireland and the 
growing numbers of attacks 

England and Northern Ireland as do factors 
of deprivation in housing and low incomes. 
The Irish, at war against what is regarded 
as a foreign occupation, have a long trad- 
ition of the use of violence to ensure that 
their voice is heard. Violence, and often 
only violence, has been effective in 
achieving progress. Violence is a reflection 
of the failure of politicians and all those 
who seek to control our lives. Brixton, 
Belfast, Bristol, Toxteth, have all shown 
the determination of some to rebel against 
and to resist a common enemy. No one 
can predict what the likely outcome of 
general rebellion would be, but it is unlikely 
that people having tasted first progress and 
gained confidence on their streets will rest 
content to sit in apathy from now on and 

not take long term decisions for their own 

Rioting is a spectacle— it draws attention to 
a minority of a community who exhibit 
anger, courage and determination in the 
face of crushing odds. Concentration on the 
spectacle in the streets, however, ignores 
the existence of those whose streets are 
being defended and who feel powerless and 
without a voice behind closed doors, 
largely forgotten, and for whom the 
prospect of taking on, unarmed, an armed 
police force, is frightening. Pictures of 
riots show largely young and male partic- 
ipants. Those people on the fringes of 
disturbances and who take advantages of 
the disorder to loot shops and other 
premises, can be seen as coming from 
wider sections of the community, and 
feature the young and old, male and 
female, black and white. There are signs, 
on both sides of the sea, that people are 
moved to take what they need instead of 
waiting for or allowing an authority to 
make decisions for them. Anarchists 
certainly have a great contribution to 
make in the creation of a new life, once 
demands are fulfilled and once freedom 
from occupation is ensured. 


The August Unity Meeting took place on 
the 1st in the Women's Centre. The first 
part of the discussion centred mainly round 
the current issue of the women's newsletter, 
Women-rite. Was the newsletter for women 
only? should it be on sale to the public? 
should articles be published in other news- 
papers such as the abortion article in Scope, 
without the knowledge of the women's 
movement or reference to the fact that it 
had first been published in the newsletter? 
Women's groups outside Belfast who were 
present at the meeting had not received any 
copies of the newsletter. Obviously these 
are teething problems, magnified by the fact 
that the newsletter was out of date—, 
reference was made to the Rape Crisis group 
on this point— and had not been a true 
collective effort. It was decided to send out 
the remaining copies of it to women and 
groups on the mailing list and anybody 
wanting a copy should contact the women's 
centre in the next week. The subject will 
be an ongoing discussion but one positive 
point made was that the discussions that 
took place at the unity meeting could be 
further elaborated and debated in the news 
letter, for women only, and that articles 
could be made public every so often-say 
every six months. 

The book on Irish women was discussed and 
articles invited for consideration. The idea 
for a woman's music workshop was mooted 
and women from the Rathcoole group 
ggested a more social atmosphere for 
omen to get together— a party is being 
■ranged for September. The last part of the 
icussion was on the role of the centre, 
[or further details of the above and of the 
sbian feminist group contact 16-18 
onegall Street. Tel 43363 

Belfast Anarchist Collective: 

corned oofc ^Our' i»6eK«S Avvi Od uid)cowe 

^otp\ 0 ita\wo oSr t*\vs. &»cAfe+M , a v<L 1 (advocate 


Britain's role in Northern Ireland, 
both on the streets and in terms of legis- j 
lative measures, is clearly repressive and 
designed to keep in check a rebellious sect 
ion of the population which calls for the ! 
granting of the Five Demands of the Pris- 
oners, which also to some extent calls for 
'Brits Out', and which seeks to take cont- 
rol of, and responsibility for, its own fut- 

The British government will not, it says, 
negotiate with the prisoners on the Five I 
Demands until the hunger strike ceases, 
and continues its policy of criminalisation 
and the labelling of resistance to the Brit- 
ish presence as 'terrorist', 'criminal' and as, 
a problem of law and order. To admit that 
the prisoners are 'political' would mean 
that they would have to admit that the 
conflict is a political one and that they ; 
would have to re-evaluate their policy and 
their role here. 

The granting of any concessions towards 
the demands of a nationalist and repub- 
lican population also seems to represent a 
loss of 'face' or political credibility, and, 
like all governments, they wish to present 
an image, world-wide, of a firm and pow- 
erful concensus that does not admit mist- 
akes nor bow under pressure to a chall- I 
enge to its rule. 

On the question of the prison protests, 
the hunger strike and the Five Demands, 
the British government realises the implic- 
ation of reforms for all other prisons in 
Britain. Also, they wish to maintain their 
policy of not negotiating under pressure 
from 'terrorists' and try to limit the int- 
entions of the Demands to ones of seek- 
ing better conditions - this makes it easy 
to claim that some conditions are among 
the best in Europe. It is clear that the 
prisoners' demands for 'rights' and not 
'privileges' go towards the undermining 
of the basis of prisons which claims to 
'rehabilitate'. The prisoners have recently 

expressed a view that speaks for all imp- 
risoned people:- 

'They want to control our words, deeds 
and thoughts on a twenty-four hour basis, 
with the objective of turning out system- 
ised, dispirited and broken men whose 
only alternative to conforming is many 
more years of isolation, brutality and 
degradation. ' 

Britain wishes to break the spirit of 
any resistance to its power, and by force 
of arms seeks to control the streets and 
to crush any signs of support for resist- 
ance. Any government will, of course, 
seek to protect the interests of the estab- 
lishment, but the deaths of the hunger 
strikers and massive public support for 
their protest and demands have drawn 
attention to the political nature of the 
conflict and have done much to expose 
the lengths to which Britain will go to 
retain its supremacy. 

It is being increasingly seen that the 
rebellious section of the population does 
not have the resources to confront the 
troops, RUC and UDR. When the prot- 
esting population begins to pose any kind 
of threat to the 'normalisation' policy, 
then it is all too easily contained and isol- 
ated by force of arms or by the threats of 
torture and imprisonment. Riots provide 
a justification (as if one were being 
sought) for the systematic murder, intim- 
idation and harassment of catholics and 
republicans. Riots and petrol bombings 
accompany the announcements of the 
deaths of hunger strikers and few attemp- 
ts by the H-Block/Armagh Committees 
seem to be made to organise or to re- 
direct that in a way which will ensure the 
mobilisation of the community, i.e. 
school strikes and full day stoppages of 
commercial and routine social life. 

The military resistance to the British 
presence continues a steady but unchang- 
ing campaign. Military and commercial 
Continued on back page 


There have been two more deaths in the H- 
Blocks of Long Kesh - Tom McElwee, from 
Bellaghy, and Micky Devine from Deny. Their 
funerals became massive demonstrations of supp 
ort for the prisoners, with over 10,000 on each 
occasion. To date, 10 prisoners have now died. 
Seven more prisoners have replaced them, with 
the number of days spent on hunger strike on 
Sept. 12th as follows:- 

liam Mc Closkey 41 
Pat Sheehan 34 
Jackie McMullan 27 
Bernard Fox 20 
Gerry CarviUe 13 
John Pickering 6. 


In the past ten days, four children have been 
injured in plastic bullet attacks by the British 
Army and the RUC 

The most recent victim is twelve years old 
Paul Corr from the Beechmount area. On Fri- 
day night he was hit in the face by a plastic bull- 
et as he cycled past a two-vehicle army patroL 
Paul's face has been ripped open ; his brother 
has said that Paul has 'a huge hole in his face 
with his nose hanging off. 

Eye-witnesses have repudiated British Army 
claims that the patrol had come under attack 
from youths throwing stones and using cata- 
pults. Local people say that at the time Paul was 
injured the area was quiet except for a few chil- 
dren, all under ten years of age, who had been 
throwing stones earlier. The people of Beech- 
mount have decided to hold a mass street demon 
stration to protest over the deaths and injuries 
caused by plastic bullets. 

Once again, the security forces have demon- 
strated the lengths they are prepared to go to in 
order to terrorise people off the streets - even to 
the extent of killing and maiming children. Sev- 
en people have died since April this year, after 
being hit by plastic bullets - three were under 
sixteen. Carol Ann Kelly, aged 12 years and Mrs. 
Nora McCabe were killed when there was no 
disturbance whatsoever. Julie Livingstone, aged 
14, died after being hit with a plastic bullet 
when British soldiers attacked a crowd of wom- 
en who were blowing whistles and banging bin- 
lids to protest over the death of hunger-striker 
Francis Hughes. 

On the 3rd and 4th of August, the Association 
for Legal Justice held a tribunal on the use of 
plastic bullets. The International panel condemn- 
ed the indiscriminate use of the bullets against 
people not involved in riots, and the official tol- 
erance of abuses of the weapon. The tribunal con 
demned the plastic bullet as a lethal weapon and 
called for a ban on its use in Northern Ireland. 
They also called for an inquiry into the deaths 
and serious injuries occuring from the use of the 

Banning plastic bullets in Northern Ireland 
would prevent some of the injuries and death, 
but unless the users of these weapons, the sect- 
arian 'security forces' are banned also, the attacks 
will merely take a different form. 

Food that we eat is made up of various 
substances, not all of which are nutrients. 
Nutrients are substances that provide en- 
ergy; enable living material to be built up 

to promote growth and healing. As well as 
nutrients, food contains fibre and toxins. 
There are five main categories of nutrient* 

protein, carbohydrates, fats, minerals 

and vitamins. 

Humanity is a 'first-hand feeder', i.e. 
feeding on plant products directly, with 
teeth, digestive system and other charact- 
eristics similar to those of frugivorous apes 
At some period in history (probably due 
to an environmental crisis) humanity took 
to flesh eating. 

Nowadays, most people eat whatever is 
to hand - mostly out of habit, family trad- 
ition, social conventions, laziness, thought- 
lessness and convenience. Humanity, in 
general, lives with the illusion that it is 
necessary to healthy survival to consume 
quantities of meat, fish and other products 
(such as eggs, cheese and milk). This ill- 
usion results not only in the mass oppress- 
ion and slaughter of animal life - it is also 

. the cause of much ill-health, obesity and 
wasteful land use. 

Too many people believe that it is nec- 
essary to eat a mixture of meat, vegetables 
fruit and other foods in order to achieve a 
'balanced diet'. Not only can this practice 
prove expensive to maintain, it should be 
pointed out that this kind of feeding is, 
more often than not, a question of taste 
and habit rather than one based on sound 
nutritional advice. 

All essential nutrients can be obtained 
from plant sources. As long as any eating 
habits do not lack, significantly, any ess- 
ential nutrient, then a diet which consists 
entirely of plant products (i.e. a vegan, 
or complete vegetarian diet) is one that is 
adequate, cheap and healthy and is one 

which does not involve a continuing ex- 
ploitation and mass oppression of animal 

Sources of Essential Nutrients 

Proteins: nuts, whole cereals, soya and 
other beans and peas, greens, also plant- 
milks and textured vegetable protein (i.e. 
processed soya). 

Sugars and Starchesrcereals, bread, cake, 
biscuits, fruit, dried fruit, vegetables. 
Fats: nuts and other seeds, 'Tomor' marg- 
arine, nut butters and creams, plantmilks. 

Vitamin A -carrots, tomatoes, dark 
greens, margarines. 

Vitamin B - whole cereals, pulses, nuts & 
yeast extracts. 

Vitamin Bi2- is added to yeast extracts 
such as 'Tastex', 'Barmene', some plant- 
milks, also in Lane's vegan tablets. 

Vitamin C - fruits and greens (especially 
fresh and raw). 

Vitamin D- sunlight, vegan margarines, 
and plantmilks. 

Vitamin E - whole cereals and pulses, veg- 
etable oils (especially sunflower). 

Calcium - seeds, nuts, whole cereals, bean 
beans, peas, greens, dried fruit. Also mol- 



A comrade writes:- 

We have recently set up a community centre 
in Kejghlcy, which is run on an anarchist basis 
and in which we can put our ideas forward to 
people. We have tried to counter the state's 
media hunger-strike coverage by sticking up post- 
ers and handing out leaflets etc., with some deg- 
ree of success. 

We also have access to video equipment and 
have shown videos made by other groups. 

We have also laid flowers, barbed wire and pla- 
ques after the deaths of each of the hunger- 
strikers and have handed out leaflets to accomp- 
any our action. 


Billy McDermott writes:- 

On the question of Ireland and the 
relationship with the people in Wales, 
many people draw similarities and are 
therefore within the Plaid Cymru and Wel- 
sh Republican Socialist Movement. 

Quite a few people, at least in Swansea, 
in the WRSM fold claim to be anarchists. 

They have a fairly good Troops Out of 
Ireland stand. 

Unlike the SWP, they do not use Ireland 
as just another issue to make political cap- 
ital out of. 

This does not mean anarchists don't take 
a stand against nationalism and patriotism. 

The anarchists in the Swansea area are 
involved or getting involved in different 
struggles, but the position at the moment 
is organising as in DAM and consciousness- 

We are also attempting to set up a Swan- 
sea Community Media Group, known as 
Black Eye Video. 

Anvway, anarchists, keep on struggling - 
the chains are breaking. 

The Autonomy Centre in London's Wapping 
Wall has just opened. One of their first activities 
was a debate on 'Nationalism in Ireland is a Rev- 
olutionary Force.' We hope to publish the papers 
presented in our next issue. 

Birmingham too, will soon have its anarchist 
club. The hope is to ' encourage the growth of a 
network of clubs around the country which 
would put the libertarian movement on a firm 
bedrock, cutting across the sectarian divide of 
paper organisations, and marking a return to the 
traditional libertarian idea of a decentralised 
club movement, based firmly in the local comm- 
unity.' Address to be found ! 

If you're across the water then contact - 


01 Warehouse, 

Metropolitan Wharf, 

Wapping Wall, LONDON El 4LG. 

asses and dark treacle. 

Iron - greens, dried fruit, nuts, whole cer- 
eals, Also molasses and dark treacle. 
Fibre: fibrous parts of whole cereals, fruit 
and vegetables - essential for healthy funct- 
ioning of the body. Animal products do 
NOT supply these. 

People are rightly concerned about the 
human population crisis, with ever-increas- 
ing numbers putting a critical strain on the 
earth's resources and space. What is often 
overlooked is that there is another popul- 
ation explosion - that of the animals which 
are systematically bred to feed human 
beings. This other explosion puts an even 
greater strain on the environment, and one 
that is competely unecessary - as humanity 
can get all food much more economically 
from plants. 

'What's Cooking ?' is an excellent, vegan, 
cookery book which contains over 300 
marvellous recipes, plus pages of simple 
nutritional advice and hints on preparing 
tasty, nourishing, economical meals. It 
provides the answer to the high costs of 
meat and other animal products. It costs 
£3 plus 50p postage and packing from: 
The Vegan Society, 47 Highlands Road, 
Leatherhead, Surrey, England. A good 
investment in many ways than one. 

There is just concern for the many 
thousands of animals kept in research 
establishments and which are experimented 
on (many without anaesthetic) in the 
names of scientific progress, medecine and 
biological warfare. It is about time that 
we, as anarchists, and as people who are 
seeking to determine their own lives, to 
accord that freedom to animal life, to 
stop the mass exploitation and butchery 
of animals for food when there are per- 
fectly adequate alternatives. 

Think about what you are eating NOW, 
join the vegan revolution, let us free our 
world of all tyranny and not just that 
which touches human life. That way, we 
give the earth a better chance of a free and 
truly libertarian future. 

•C 9 

o.S . 

A comrade writes from Hull:- 

'Did you read Anarchy No 32 ? Quite an 
improvement I think (well the first bit 
anyway). A lot of 'Anarchists' use dogma 
to pass the buck on Ireland. In my exper- 
ience those people who bring out theoret- 
ical justifications for not supporting the 
Irish working class in struggle are playing 
an old game - they're after an excuse for 
inactivity. They know they should be 
doing something, but they'll find one hund 
red and one ways of avoiding it. 

For example, if there's anti-militarist or 
prisoner -support work to be done, and 
someone raises the Ireland angle, tne 'wets 
will jump up protesting 'but I want the 
army out everywhere', or 'all prisoners are 
political' These two positions are dead 
right, and as anarchists we must never lose 
sight of them, and proclaim them at the 
top of our voices; but I get annoyed when 
the rhetoric is used to bury heads in sand. 
I've never seen the .people who raise these 
'purist' objections go off and do anything, 
never seen them confront militarism 
really in England, or help English prisoners 
If the positions were reversed, with an 
Irish army of occupation in England, the 
English revolutionaries would be scream- 
ing for support from their Irish counter- 
parts. So, where's solidarity now ?' 

5 U 


r* ^ "5 

>* ti 

* S3 

c * 
? * 

* s I ■ 

i s 


* s> s 

done some art work in your spare time, 
please contact Ken on Belfast 768402 
between 6.30 and 7.30 Tues, Thurs, Fri, 
as he is interested in holding an Exhibition 
of unerrployed people's work. 

* Si 


The notorious rip-off artist Pat 
Hughes worms his way deeper into 
the world mining economy. His 
company - Northgate - has just rec- 
ently taken over PATINO; a big 
multi-national, famed for its abuse of 
Bolivian tin miners. The deal cost 

and much of the money came from the 
profits made at the Tynagh mine in Gal- 
way. Northgate employed people to rip 
out ore from Ga/way for 15 years, making 
£30m. profits in the process. They hinted 
that this money would be put back into 
an Irish venture... .as it has turned out, this 
was a clever rumour in order to get the 
I. T. G. W. U. to persuade its members to 
accept redundancy money gracefully. 

But the 'Irish venture' , not surprisingly, 
did not materialise. Instead, they buy 
PA TINO and are now involved in gold, 
zinc, and silver mining in Quebec. 

Through this deal, Northgate increase 
their stake in other companies busily ex- 
ploring for URANIUM in Ireland. Along- 
side their uranium prospecting interests 
in Donegal and the Mournes, Northgate 
also get a stake in Brascan, a North Amer- 
ican company who own half of Noranda. 
Noranda control TAR A, operator of a 
zinc mine in Navan, as well as the holders 
of uranium prospecting rights in Donegal. 

Big money, big business... it's time 
Northgate got a big shock! 

to Bolivia 


The latest anti-nuclear March for Survival has 
Gerry Fitt as one of the Speakers (amongst other 
middle class personalities who we can well do 

Two < 

1) Will Fitt politically survive in this last-ditch 
attempt ? 

2) Can he physically survive the march from 
from Stormont to Botanic Gardens ? 

Mystery of the 
H _biock protest 


SAME. E McNabb 

The National H-Block/Armagh Committee held 
a Recall Conference on Sunday September 6th. 

Despite being one of the biggest attended confer- 
ences of the campaign, no real analysis or reass- 
essment took place. At best, there was a tamper- 
ing with the present structure. An illustration 
was the overwhelming rejection of P.D.'s propos- 
al to have the Committee made up of the deleg- 
ates (and work towards a delegate conference). 
Instead, we now have 10 more Committee mem- 
bers (20 elected at Conference, with 10 co-opted) 
an . Executive of 15 of these, and a cumbersome, 
powerless, third tier, consisting of delegates from 
interest groups. 

There was much talk of industrial activity, but no 
concrete proposals as to how this can be achieved. 
The limited time and cramped space certainly 
played a large part, but also the domination by 
the National Committee (particularly Sinn Fein), 
most of whom were re-elected, prevented the 
much needed reassessment 

The venue, whilst convenient geographically, was 
the expensive Fairways Hotel, who charged 25 p 
for a plastic cup of tea. The 'Light Lunch' at 
£1.50, was a round of sandwich, a plastic cup of 
soup and plastic tea. 



£ 1 

3 I i 


s ■§ a 

%£ 2 

1 5 I 



A comrade who has visited Belfast twice before 
was recently excluded from England. 

After his previous visits he had reports pub- 
lished in 'Umanita Nova' and 'Le Monde Libert- 
aire'; Italian and French anarchist newspapers. 

But third time unlucky. As the immigration 
officer at Southampton stated on Home Office 

Form IS 82C 'from information available 

to me about your recent political activities, I am 
sure that your exclusion is conducive to the pub- 
lic good.' 

Our friend's reply is: ' I know that the s. 

ion in the U.K., and especially in the North of 
Ireland, is more and more difficult The author- 
ities try to hide what is happening in Belfast as 
in Liverpool and London. I ve been 25 hours in 
custody, and had many hours of interrogation by 
the criminal police. They took my photograph 
and fingerprints. 

Don't worry, I didn't say anything. The free 
movement of people in the 'free' world is quite 
limited and so controlled. 

Nobody and nothing, nevertheless, will prevent 
me coming - soon, I hope - again to the U.K. and 
Ireland, even if the police said to me - NEVER ! 

Drug Squad 
Weed Out 

This month is the harvesting season for the growers 
of all types of plants, likewise people who grow 
cannabis will be using this time for drying and cur- 
ing their grass either for private use or for selling 
purposes. The Drug Squad realise this, and it seems 
ridiculous that people can still be fined or sentenced 
for the growing of a plant which in whatever state 
is less harmful than alcohol. 

The D.S. find this time of year profitable and have already pro- 

ved this by numerous busts. Due to an increase in D.S. activ- = 
lty with regards to homegrown, combined with the start of 
the magic mushroom season, means people who are users find 
themselves under constant threat from the cops. 
Apart from causing people great harm, the, drug squad are 
trying to destroy a social scene where people are able to ob- 
tain cheap or free grass and find a getaway from the business 
side of drug use. Dealers also see the influx of cheap home- 
grown grass as a threat to their maximum profit making enter- 
prise. The more homegrown there is, the less rip-offs there 
are, and because dealers are harder to catch, the D.S. turn 
their attention to private areas. 

Unfortunately the Belfast Drug Squad have caught on quickly 
to this relatively new phenomenon, and their presence has 
become increasingly felt. Searches and surveillance have been 
greatly stepped up the UDR are also beginning to search for 
drugs, and if they find anything the consequences are exactly 
tne same as a D.S. find. The D.S. have found it easier this 
year to step up their harassment, due to the acquisition of 
young recruits, who don't look like cops at all, so operations 
have been carried out virtually un-noticed, since thev take the 
form of punks, blitzers and long hairs. 

As usual, the tactics used reflect the D.S. character : under- 
hand, planting dope on people in their homes, intercepting 
mail, tapping phones, trying to score dope off you, and the 
old-time favourite of leading you into conversations or argu- 
ments about dope or drugs in general. 

So, BEWARE ! Everyone is a 'criminal' in the eyes of the 
state ! 

Due to these numerous tactics, it is necessary that people obstruct 
the Drug Squad by KNOWING THEIR RIGHTS. This is a much 
needed necessity, since it prevents McBride and his misguided coll- 
eagues from either putting you down or by making their job so easy 
- it seems ironic that the state sees it as necessary to outlaw dope, 
whilst large numbers of people can seriously damage themselves ment- 
ally and physically by sniffing glue and still remain free from a sentence 
or fine. Why is it that alcohol is socially accepted when it is medically 
termed a downer and as being inducive to a 

REMEMBER the D.S. is a growing and an active force; if you 

arc busted through fault or NO fault of your own, SAY NOTHING 
until you have seen a lawyer. OR contact Just Books, 
(Box 30) 7 Winetavern Street, Belfast. Phone (0232) 25426. 

Continued from front page 

targets are hit with regularity, but little 
evidence is seen of any defensive role by 
the IRA or IN LA other than symbolic 
acts. The facts that there are fewer of 
them, with fewer arms and the fact that 
they are engaged in a guerilla war means 
that their potential to operate as a defence 
force is limited. 

People are not free to establish basic 
rights of protest and to take their own dec 
isions for the future - any mobilisation of 
people in defence of their streets or'in 
support of the prisoners is soon contained 
by force of arms as soon as they pose any 
kind of powerful threat to 'normality' • 
i.e. rebellious people are confined to their 
ghettoes, whilst loyalist movements are 
seen as having unhampered opportunities 
to intimidate catholics and to demonstra- 
te their loyalist allegiances. Loyalists in 
uniform can murder without fear of the 
legislative retribution that catholics face 
who act in self defence or who campaign 
in protest at the numbers of innocent 
victims of sectarian hatred. 

What seems to be needed is the linking 
of energies both to resist an oppressive 
force, to create propaganda with the pur- 
pose of discrediting and destroying Brit- 
ain's role, and to organise local defence of 
ghetto areas and 'grey' areas, where pow- 
erless people are defenceless at present. 
For the campaigns of resistance and prot- 
est to succeed, movements have to begin 
to compliment each other rather than to 
continue action in isolation or in compet- 
ition. Reams of wordy publications and 
massive public demonstrations do some- 
thing to encourage committment and to 
foster continuing activity, but unless the 
encouragement of initiatives is seen as a 
priority over struggles for power then the 
campaigns will remain fragmented and 

As what is being confronted is a soph- 
isticated military and political force, a co- 
operative campaign of resistance and def- 
ence must be equally sophisticated and 
able to withstand the heaviest onslaughts 
of repressive measures. There is no point 
in mobilising people only to leave them 
defenceless as soon as their determinat- 
ion begins to take effect. People would 
almost certainly be inhibited from taking 
direct action for themselves if they felt 
that as soon as their actions began to 
'bite' they would be left high and dry to 
face plastic bullets or live rounds without 
having any practical means or tactics to 
defend themselves. Such defencelessness 
would also be counter-productive as 
people realised the limitations of their 
plans. Tr Until that kind of sophisticated 
balance is evened out, no reasonable sol- 
ution could be contemplated. At pres- 
ent, the rule of the force of the gun and 
all special legislative measures is rather 
like a gardener trying to solve the prob- 
lem of weeds by concreting all over the 
area where they exist. This kind of blan- 

What has also to be noted is the frust- 
ration felt by many people about the 
lack of results obtained by ritual demon- 
strations and the anger felt by those who 
organise peaceful marches and pickets 
and who find themselves harassed and 
intimidated by security forces. Others 

find themselves under a constant threat 
of attack by plastic bullets and other miss- 
iles from troops and RUC in areas where 
completely innocent people have been 
killed and maimed in totally unprovoked 
attacks in ghetto areas. The threat of sect- 
arian assassination adds to this climate of 
fear, rebellion and violence. 

Britain's inflexible attitude in the face of 
the deaths of the hunger strikers has meant 
a strengthening of the campaign of resist- . 
ance and a growing covert support for 
armed tactics. It has also meant a realisat- 
ion that it may involve a long campaign. 
International support has also grown, with 
attacks on British targets in foreign count- 
ries. In Switzerland young people set up 
barricades and fought with the police ex- 
plicitly in support of the hunger strikers, 
and demanded the withdrawal of troops. 

All this is not yet proving sufficient to 
pressurise the British state into releasing 
its stranglehold, nor must it be believed 
that Ireland could count on foreign states 
to influence Britain's policy. International 
capitalism will always seek to protect its 
own interests. Maybe, through a process of 
challenging the British presence and th- 
rough the support for the prisoners' dem- 
ands, present campaigns will begin to 
give a more thoughtful approach to the 
prospect of a liberated Ireland free of 
armed troops and to the nature of the 
freedom demanded. 

Hop? i o£ stem 
i Get >atf <*... 


Young people undoubtedly get one of the 
rawest deals of all. In the home we've no 
rights, at school we're fucked over and af- 
ter that thousands of us have only a life- 
time of drawing the dole to look forward 
to, and , if 'lucky', a low paid job where 
you're treated like a dog by the boss and 
probably by the work 'mates' as well. 
Being young and unemployed means the 
daily harassment by Brits and RUC. It's no 
wonder that 75% of all prisoners in the 
H-Blocks are under 25 years of age. 

The period in our lives which is potent- 
ially the most creative, emotional and en- 
joyable, has for many of us been stolen or 
lost in the straightjackets of ghetto living, 
school, sectarianism, religion, parents, laws 
and sexual morality. 



The Census — Information and 

As the Government wasn't quite 
able to get the census form from 
people ('cause they had more sense) 
as they would have liked to, it looks 
that the Brits are now trying their 
luck by using different means. 
Recently, the British Army, in full 
force have been knocking at peoples' 
homes, pointing their guns at them 
and even the kids to 'ask' for the 

It's none of their business at all,and 
only another excuse for showing 
their arrogance and 'superiority' 
which they can only show when 
they have a gun in their hands. 
The fact that the Brits are demand- 
ing census returns shows that there 
is the hotly denied exchange of info- 
rmation between the census office 
and the 'security' forces. Presumab- 
ly, the census office has requested 
information from the Army comput- 
er, the Brits naturally obliging and 
trying to fill in the missing bits by 
extorting the information from 
those who were recorded as having 
refused to cooperate.. ..perhaps in 
1991 the census office will come 
straight and use coercion in the 
first place. 

Political parties are only interested in us- 
ing us for their own ends. They treat us as 
interior and aren't interested in what we 
want or have to say. The 'socialists' who ad 
vocate a better society, the pie in the sky, 
have done little for us and at best are con- 
tent to provide drinks and billiards. 

The church and state organised activities 
are only interested primarily in making us 
conform to their rules and standards and, 
of course, reject the 'troublemakers' who 
won't play along. 

The only way some people are inteested 
in us is when we become passive consum- 
ers. Our ideas are ripped off and marketed 
back to us through music, clothes, concerts 

films, etc., it's no wonder we get 

blitzed out of our heads through booze, 
drugs, glue sniffing. Anything to blot out 
the shit we see around us. 

DON'T MOAN . . . 

Young people, no matter how brutalised, 
are always in the forefront in the fight ag- 
ainst authority and repression. 

We have the courage to go where we want 
- to listen to the music we want - to wear 
what we want - to have sex when and how 
we want - to read what we want, even when 
you know you'll be hassled by everybody. 


Three papers not mentioned in last month's 
issue were: Black Flag (paper of the Anarchist 
Black Cross), Anarchy magazine and Angry 
(from Hull). 

These have recently given coverage to the hun- 
ger strike campaign and advocated a principled 
anarchist position of support for the prisoners 
and the necessity for withdrawal of troops. 

Anarchy also gives good coverage to the 72 
Irish prisoners in English jails. 

Alll available at Just Books ! 



The right to vote, or equal civil rights, may be good 
demands, but true emancipation begins neither at the 
polls, nor in courts. It begins in woman's soul. History 
tells us that every oppressed class gained true liberation 
from its masters through its own efforts. It is necessary 
that woman learn that lesson, that she realise that her 
freedom will reach as far as her power to achieve her 
freedom reaches. EMMA GOLDMAN 191 1 


The fact that education is free 
makes it appear like a bountiful 
gift, something that makes us 
better off than most other people 
who live around the world. But 
although education is 'free' we 
shouldn't forget that up to 16 it 
is also compulsory, and when the 
government goes to the trouble of 
making something compulsory 
then it is most certainly in the 
interests of that government to 
maintain it. 

Education wasn't always free or compul- 
sory. Up until the end of the 19th cen 
ury only the rich were educated as they 
were the only ones who could afford to 
send their children to school. For most 
this meant sending their male children to 
the so-called public schools which were 
in reality very expensive private schools, 
or having their children taught privately 
at home. These schools which exist to 
the present day, were designed to produce 
the future rulers of society - the bankers, 
politicians, judges etc. For the rest of 
the people who didn't have money then 
they manage as best they could, most of 
them unable to read or write. 
In 1870 though the government decided 
that it was time that all the people 
should at least have basic literacy and 
numeracy skills, and so education became 
compulsory for all between the ages of 5 
and 10, it didn't become free until 1900. 
What prompted this sudden concern with 
the working class and its ability to read 
after hundreds of years of neglect? Well 
it certainly wasn't from the goodness in 
their hearts. In the main there are two 
reasons. Firstly during the 19th century 
Britain had become an industrialised 
nation the first in the world, during this 
period it was also building a vast empire 
around the world, suddenly though it 
found itself with a rival that threatened 
to beat it in production rates, this was 
Germany then also starting to expand 
overseas. When British industrialists asked 
themselves why this was happening they 
discovered that the German worker was 
a more efficient prodcer than the British 
and the main reason for this appeared to 
be the fact that Germany had an educati- 

on system. Immediately they put 
pressure on the British government to 
provide the same service. Secondly it 
was clear that the vote was going to be 
given to the male working class in the 
near future, and the then Tory governme- 
nt even then was good at spotting the 
best methods for capturing these new 

The education provided was of a very bas- 
ic kind reading, writing arithmetic, and 
religion, any more was felt to be danger- 
ous. Education then was a result of the 
demands of the economy rather than the 
needs of the people and its content direct- 
ly reflected this. 

Over 70 years was to pass before that 
basic system had a major overhaul, 
while in the meantime the rich continued 
to use the services of the public schools. 
Around 1944 the government - this time 
a wartime co-alition dominated by the 
then prime minister Churchill - came to 
the conclusion that a new education 
system was needed which would allow 
all children equal oppurtunity to get a 
good education and even go on to 
university if they had the ability. Again 
though the economy and future plans for 
post-war recovery, plus an election at the 
end of the war played the major role in 
the decision. The new plan was simple in 
essense it proposed that children should 
be sorted out at a certain age - 1 1 - into 
those children who had academic ability 
and those who hadn't. There was no 
rational reason to choose 1 1 as the 
deciding age it was picked at random 
although all research since then has 
indicated the uselessness of testing 
children at that age as it proves nothing 
about their then or their future ability, it 
continues to be the decisive year in most 
childrens lives , in school at least. The 
children with ability were to go to 
grammar schools, the others to secondary 
moderns, children from then on effect- 
ively labelled the successes and the failur- 
es. At the same time the public schools 
were allowed to remain outside the state 
system, and to continue to provide for 
the rich and to go on producing the 
future leaders - at the present time for 
example nearly every member of the 

and to the 


For the many who left school to get a 
job, and some independence, the old 
story that schools have been peddling for 
a long time, has suddenly become a fairy- 
tale. If your good and work hard here 
you will be rewarded with a good job 
when you leave. With unemployment, 
what it is, this is no longer true, and for 
many young people today, the only 
alternatives seem to be the dole, or the 
governments extension of school - the 
Youth Opportunities Programmes. 

These courses designed to cut down the 
unemployment figures, can last from 
3 to 12 months depending on the scheme. 
Although there are many differences 
between the courses, they do share 
striking similarities - they all provide 
cheap labour, and in virtually all cases the 

continued on me ? 

Tory cabinet has been to public school. 
So a new dawn had arisen with promises 
of bright futures for all children, but as 
before the system neatly fitted in with 
the demands of the post-war economy- 
the need for a class of professional work^« 
ers, teachers,doctors, social workers, the 
need for a class of skilled manual work- 
ers, and of course the need for a large 
pool of semi and unskilled workers. It 
was not surprising then that very soon a 
pattern emerged, most working class 
children appeared to have no ability and 
went to secondary moderns, while most 
middle class children appeared to have 
the requisite ability and so went off to 
grammar schools. A few working 
class children managed to get through the 
net to grammar school but most of these 
would in turn drop out before the end 
and those left would be recruited into 
the middle class so giving weight to the 
illusion that anyone who had ability 
could really move up in the world. So 
the grammar schools provided the future 
professional workers, and the secondary 
moderns the rest. 

Since then it has become clear that 
getting on in education has little to do 
with the ability to make your way in 
life, or about taking control of yourself- 
instead it has a lot to do with speaking 
with the right accent, living in the right 
area, being able to cope with the 
language of education, and having your 
parents make the right noises at parents 
meetings. The system was created by 
people with clear ideas about how people 
should behave and those who didn't 
measure up to these ideals were to be 
labelled failures, unless working class 
children and their .parents were prepared 
to learn and use new codes of practice, 
in other words to become like the 
middle classes then movement was not 
going to be allowed. 

Educations main role then was and is the 
passing on of ideas, values and beliefs 
which maintain the status quo, which 
make people believe that they cannot 
change things themselves, but only adapt 
themselves to the decrees of others. 
Three of the most crucial elements of the 
education system are the learning of 
obedience to authority, punctuality, and 
hard work, also the three qualities most 
prized by employers. Schools work 
hand in hand with industry, and when 
for example the unemployment figures 
soar then one solution is to raise the sch- 
ool leaving age as has been done twice 
since the last war, and is probable in the 
future again. In school we are taught to 
believe that everything we are told is a 
fundamental truth, that education is an 
objective process, all of which masks the 
real truth, that schools merely reflect 
the society in which they are found and 
that the attitudes of that society - sexist, 
racist, and authoritarian, are passed on 
there, to children at their most formative 
time, as objective truths rather than 
partial explanations. 
So the next time someone tells you that 
your school days are the happiest days 
of your lifedon't take itas a compliment 
to the educational system, but rather 
as a reflection of the awfulness and void 
of most of our adult lives. 


"We understood that the laws were 
all for THEM(men), that the set 
up of society was all for THEM, 
that everything existed for THEM. 
But we didn't know what to do 
about it. We half believed that 
there was something wrong with 
US. We crept into our holes and 
learned to survive." 

Marilyi French's novel The Womens 
Room really made that quote come alive 
in all its horror and nightmare. So much 
so that for a time I couldnot convince 
myself that all men were not like Norm, 
and Simp, and Hamp, - the men in the 
book. Recently that same book was 
filmed for American TV and at the end 
of August it was transmitted on the BBC. 
My reaction on hearing about it was at 
first in disbelief, that such a powerful 
and controversial, and such a real book 
that spoke of the reality of womens 
lives would actually make it to the 
screen. I didnot expect the production 
to be as uncompromising as the book - 
there the message is clear women are 
oppressed, trodden on and generally 
frustrated in all their actions by men, 
that message would be just too radical 
to go out on prime time TV. Nor did 
I think it possible that the vividness and 
imagination of a book that I just could 
not leave down for a week, and digested 
thought about, and reread for much ' 
longer, could be squashed into a couple 
of hours. Cuts would have to be made 
and as the film went on it became clear 
just what was left out and what stayed 
to make a good story. 

The novel tells the story of a woman 
who grows up in the USA. She meets 
Norm and instead of going herself to 
college, marries Norm, drops out, gets 
herself a job to support him so that 
he can finish in law school, has two sons, 
and as Norm becomes a succesful 
lawyer moves out into the world of the 
middle class suburbia of early 1 960's 
America. Here she makes friends with 
the other wives, and shares their mund- 
ane empty lives, and their frustrations. 
It is here that she also sees clearly that 
it is men who decide in tre world, as 
she watches the wasted lives of the worn 
women around her. Never happy but 
at least reconciled to her life with Norm 
her illusions are shattered one evening 
when Norm calmly tells her that he has 
found another woman, and that he is 
going to divorce her Mira as soon as 
possible. Her reaction is to attempt 
suicide as all meaning leaves her life as 
a result she loses custody of her children 
after the divorce. 

Faced with all this she decides to return 
to college and so begins a journey of 
self discovery, set in the late 60s. At 
college she meets women who like her 
have wasted time, in particular Val, one 

of the most powerful characters in the 
book, who guides Mira from her shell 
out into the big world were suddenly she 
has to make decisions for herself. Mira 
joins a women's group, she has an affair 
with a younger man, who in the end 
wants to possess just like all the men in 
the book, she manages to come to terms 
with her two men children and they with 
her, and in the end she learns that life 
for those willing to challenge its cont- 
raints is a depressing and lonely one. 

The first part of the film followed Mira's 
life up to the divorce very closely, the 
awfulness of suburban life was depicted 
well as was the reality of the women 
there. It is from then on though that 
the content of the film and the book 
began to move apart, the message started 
to be distorted, and by the end I began 
to think that it had just been rewritten. 
In nearly all cases real criticism of men 
was left out and what was repeated 
over and over again was the idea that 
men and women suffer equally from con- 
ditioning. Mira's relationship with the 
younger man was treated as a romance 
with most of the pain and hurt simply 
removed, so that Mira's reaction to the 
ending seemed hard to understand. 
Again although the casting was superb 
in some cases for example Val, who was 
exactly as the book had depicted her, 
all her best words and actions were left 
out and when she talked to Mira about 
women it always sounded like she was 
making a speech rather than having a 
conversation. And in Val's case the 
most important event of the book - the 
brutal rape of Val's daughter and her 
reaction to it was just written out of the 
book, so losing the most powerful 
statement of women's oppression out. 
Finally the last and the worse change 
was the ending. Mira was played by 
the ever beautiful Lee Remick, who 
basically never managed to adequately 
portray Mira as the book did, who some 
how always remained too good, or 
too long suffering. In the book the 
ending clearly says that in life there are 
few happy endings, that if a woman 
makes a concious decision to live her 
life as a person then she risks the wrath 
of a manmade society. That in this 
society there is no such thing as love 
and selfulfilment on equal terms 
with men because they control the dice, 
so the choice for women is restricted - 
play the game by their rules, or opt out, 
both cost a great deal. As Marilyn 
French says 'the great literature of the 
past doesn't tell you how to deal with 
real endings.' Mira is left now a teacher 
wandering along a beach lonely, 
embittered, but determined to go on, 
The ending was profoundly depressing 
but also full of courage. What then of 
the Hollywood version? Well it was 
clear that a happy ending was needed 
and so we see Lee Remick lecture to 
a room of students about women, and 
get a standing ovation at the end. The 
message was clear - although we used 
to keep women down today things have 
changed, infact the opposite ending to 
the book! continued on next page 

"The War Game" is a documentary 
about nuclear war commissioned by 
the BBC in 1963 but never shown 
on television. The reason given for 
this by the BBC was that they felt 
that it was a bit too horrific for 
general consumption-today nearly 
20 years later after the televisation 
of the Vietnam War, the BBC argue 
that the film is out of date and so 
still refuse to show one of the most 
powerful anti-nuclear statements 
that I and that most people who 
have seen it have ever been subjected 

Yes, the film is horrific and it is today out 
of date. But it is out of date only in terms 
of the horror it shows in the aftermath of 
a nuclear war-today the horror would be 
greater, the devastation complete. 
With the use of actors the film sets out to 
show what would happen in Britain if a 
nuclear war occured (in the documentary 
it is Vietnam and Berlin that set off the 
fighting between NATO and the USSR). 
Britain would be regarded as a legitimate 
target and 60 acres (airfields and communic 
cation centres mainly), would be specially 
prone to nuclear bombing. What we see 
are the precautions a British Government 
might take faced with the possibility of 
nuclear attack. Firstly mothers and child- 
ren under 18 would be evacuated from 
large urban centres to villages where 
they would be compulsorily billeted with 
families in that area. Each area would be 
co-ordinated by a local council and the 
local police force. . 

Having shown this the film then makes the 
point that firstly many women may refuse 
to leave their older children, unmarried 
sisters and their husbands or brothers at 
such a time. It also points out that in a 
multi racial society , tension in racial 
terms might also arise as people try to 
refuse to billet those of a different colour. 

The film then goes on to look at the effects 
to a small village when a military airfield 
12 miles away is bombed. Firstly, anyone 
outside at the time is likely to recieve 
severe retinal and skin burns from the flash 
and the blast afterwards would shake 
houses. Within a radius of 15 miles burns 
would still be severe. 

In the aftermath, the documentary in a 
clear and simple manner shows a people, 
many of whom have not been affected by 
the first blast, fall ill with radiation sick- 
ness (likely to affect most of the population 
because wind carries radiation easily). It 
shows a medical system collapsing under 
the weight of inadequate medicine and 
the sheer number of casualties as people 
are divided into three categories- those who 
will die no matter what treatment they 
receive (these are left in pain and suffering) 
and as time goes on the film indicates likely 
to be shot to speed the process up); those 
who need treatment but will live; and those 
only slightly hurt who will recover without 

As food grows short, priority supplies are 
used only for those who are working ie: 
those maintaining law and order-the police, 
army/government officials. The population i 
is likely to grow restless, looting and so on 
and people shot in the streets. Many people 
will sink into apathy, mental illness will be 
common and diseases such as cancer would 
be horribly prevalent particulary in children 
exposed to radiation. 

The documentary went into great detail 
on all these points and left me* feeling 
sick, depressed and angry. Afterwards I 
reflected thought that nuclear weapons 
have become more sophisticated and 
deadly since 1963. If a bomb was dropped 
here tomorrow we are no better prepared 
for it than in 1963 but the devastation woi 
would be complete. At the moment the 
plan goes something like this -at the 
warning of an attack all important people 

would retire to shelters (there is one in 
Northern Ireland), whilst the rest of us 
a^ove ground would have to fend for 
ourselves for the first 14 days (the time 
it takes for radiation levels to drop) In 
effect that means for most of us to die. 
There is no such place as a safe place- 
bigger bombs disperse bigger radiation— 
so that if a bomb dropped on Belfast 
given wind conditions people in Donegal 
would feel it within a day, possibly hours. 
Radiation sickness is a horrible death. 
Add to this burns of the severest kind-- and 
a legacy of cancer of every type over many 
years. (For example today in Hiroshima 
and Nagasaki they still suffer the after 
effects on the 1946 Bomb). Deformed 
babies would be common after such an 

There is no such thing as a limited nuclear 
war ....we are all affected. And as Reagan 
gives the go ahead for the neutron bomb 
the threat grows daily. This bomb is design 
designed to do minimal damage to proper- 
ty but maximum damage to people as its 
radiation levels are increased enormously. 
Its time we all got up and said no- there 
is no getting away from the nuclear menac 
menace-no good saying it doesn't affect 
me because it affects everyone -no good 
sayingwhat can I do because you can 
protest to survive. 

Subscribe to 
Gaining Ground 

In future issues we would like to include 
book reviews, film reviews, and we would 
also like to do more personal interviews 
about the lives of women, if you have an> 
ideas, we can be contacted at 
Gaining Ground c/o Just Books, 
7,Winetavern St, Belfast 1. 
If you would like to subscibe please send 
request plus £3 in Europe, and £6 outside 
Europe, to recieve one years sub. 

continued from page 1 

people doing the courses come away with 
little real experience at the end. 

When on the course you recieve £23.50, 
higher than the dole, the main incentive 
for many young people. And in the end 
often the only thing you will gain from 
the course. In a future issue Gaining 
Ground hopes to deal in more detail with 
the whole subject - if you have any ideas 
or direct experience oof the courses we 
would like to hear from you. Contact 
address above. 

continued from previous page 

If anything the film served to underline 
the book and to prove its message - the 
world is made by men for men, their 
image is the one that will prevail. If 
you haven't read the book do so, and 
avoid the film if you want to find out 
about the reality of women's lives 
rather than the fantasy Hollywood story, 

In the last twenty years we have 
seen a massive increase in the types 
and brands of contraception avail- 
able to women. Most of the 
research has gone into the pill-low 
dose, high dose, combination, sequ- 
ential, progestogen only, 21, 28, 20 
or 22 pills etc-and into the copper 
lUD's and the dangerous injection, 
Depo Provera, when the popularity 
of the pill waned. In the early 
sixties, scientists saw the research 
into the contraceptive pill in terms 
of controlling population in the 
third world rather than any great 
desire to free women from the fear 
of unwanted pregnancies. Yet, what 
they had seemingly developed was 
exactly what women were looking 
for— a simple 100% safe contracep 
tive. The pills in their little foil press 
out packs slipped neatly into the 
'bright' and 'confident' mass myth 
of the sixties together with the 
instant convenience foods, paper 
cups and plates, plastic beakers 
and artificial gimmick foods and 
sweetners. People could get some- 
thing almost for nothing, with the 
minimum amount of effort, which 
could be thrown out for something 
slightly different. Obsolesence was 
planned into our lives. The highly 
packaged pill fitted into this some- 
what clinical atmosphere, signifying 
freedom and emancipation for mill- 
ions of women. 

The swingin sixties didn't last. By the end 
of them the side effects of the pill were 
becoming known. Problems ranged from 
being a nuisance to major complications. 
Women felt irritable, depressed, were 
having breakdowns, migraines, high blood 

pressure, blood clots and thrombosis and 
cancer. By 1970 Germaine Greer was to 
write in the Female Eunuch 'the devisers 
of the pill worried so little about the 
female psyche that it was years before 
they discovered that one woman in three 
was chronically depressed'. The connectio 
ions between the pill and a woman's frame 
of mind were made too late for some 
women. Many could not understand why 
they should get so depressed. The fear of 
becoming pregnant had been removed, 
they had been liberated, so why then 
should they be so unhappy? 

But it was the scare of 1977 when the 
Royal College of Practitioners dropped its 
bombshell that women on the pill had a 
40% increased risk of dying that finally 
did it Half a million women dropped the 
pill overnight and looked around for an 

Improvements had been made in the inter 
uterine devices. The Copper T and its later 
more reliable relative the Copper 7 (Cu 7), 
became popular IUDs for women who had 
not had children. IUDs have been around 
for thousands of years but they are not 
without their side effects either; becoming 
pregnant for example, miscarrying or 
having an ectopic pregnancy, or the fact 
that they just might drop out or disappear 
having punctured a path through the walls 
of the womb. Not a common occurence 
but no woman wants to become that 
statistic however small. 

Today the choice is more clearly defined- 
cross your fingers and use nothing, cross 
your fingers and hope that there is no risk 
to your health, or go back to the rubber 
devices which have no side effects bar such 
comments from men 'like wearing a wellie 
boat' and 'going swimming in a waterproof 
mac' The cap is an obvious form of 
contraceptive and women have been mould- 

ing 'all sorts of materials from opium to 
beeswax into caps to fit around the cervix 
for over 4,000 years. The diaphragm was 
invented in 1882, the first time that a 
reliable and safe contraceptive was actually 
put into the hands of women soley for the 
purposes of contraception and emancipation 
rather than the dictates of overpopulation. 

Mainly because of the concentration of 
research onto the pill, little work has 
been done on the cap since 1953, but 
with the increasing swing towards barrier 
forms of contraception (20,000 convent- 
ional caps fitted in one year in the USA), 
various new devices are now under trial. 
A Californian company called Vorhauer 
plans to market their vaginal sponge 
device in the USA, France, Germany 
and Britain in 1982. It is a disposable 
device made of polyurethane and pre- 
soaked in spermicidal solution. It can be 
left in the vagina for up to 48 hours, 
whence it is removed by pulling on a 
loop and thrown away. Needless to say, 
it failed to meet the standard for new 
contraceptives set by the World Health 
Organisation (less than 6 pregnancies 
per 100 woman years), but the manufac 
turers claimed that women in the trials 
didn't use it properly and were inexper- 
ienced! Another team competing for 
the vaginal sponge market have made 
theirs out of a natural material collagen- 
(a tough protein which makes up one 
of the main components of skin), appar- 
ently this version is highly absorbent and 
acts as a true sink, soaking up the sperm. 
Thirty women are trying out a disposable 
sponge diaphragm that has the same rim 
as the conventional diaphragm but the 
body is made out of spongy collagen 
with a high dose of spermicide. All of 
these methods are disposable and there- 
fore wasteful and expensive and rely 
heavily on spermicides which some 
women react badly to, suffering rashes 
itching, burning and cystitis. It is 
difficult to see what real advantages they 
have over the conventional methods. 
One particular research does sound 
interesting. The idea itself is 150 years 
old but nothing was ever done about 
it until now. It is to custom make a cap, 
like a dental plate, which will stay in 
place without suction or pressure and 
without eroding the mucusal tissues. It 
has a one way valve for menstrual 
discharge. The longest period it has been 
worn is 22 months, with no detectable 
adverse effects, no odour problems 
because the cap fits perfectly and there 
are no cul de sacs or voids where 
mucus can collect and cause problems 
and the cervix apparently looked a lot 
healthier than in women using alternat- 
ive forms of contraception this device 

could be available within a couple of 

The pill and the IUD are not the miracle 
solutions to contraception that they 
were thought to be. Increasingly, vast 
numbers of people are using the sheath 
and the cap. A 100% safe and healthy 
barrier contraceptive like the cap is 
possible and would provide a real alter- 
native to the pill and the IUD. 


Ten prisoners have died on hunger strike in 
their fight against criminalisation. All the 5 
demands have not been granted, but the con- 
cessions won (only prisoners in N.I. can 
wear their own clothes and get 50% remission 
and the;strike itself, coming after 5 long 
years of the blanket and no-wash protests, 
have shown the world these prisoners are 
political. The publicity generated concerns 
not only the prison issue but the whole 
question of Britain's right to be here. 
Offshoots from the end of the strike will 
undoubtedly be a campaign in British prisons 
to get these conditions; and an effort by 
Irish prisoners there to be sent to prisons in 
Ireland. There is the potential here, on the 
basis of the courage and militancy of the 
republican prisoners, for all prisoners to 
challenge the label of criminal, and the 
rest of us to question the nature of prison 

During the brief loyalist hunger strike, that 
potential was string, but the manouverings 
of the unionist politicians, the churches and 
the UDA destroyed it. Today Paisley threat- 
ens a reaction against the concessions by 
the NIO, ignoring the 300 loyalists in the 
H-Blocks who will also benefit. The UDA 
stated before that their prisoners would acc- 
ept any concessions won, but now have to 
cover themselves by saying that its 'a victory 
for violence'. What they mean is they weren't 
prepared to fight for them. With cap in 
hand approach, they complained that the 
NIO had ignored their delegations for imp- 
roved conditions for 'conforming' prisoners. 
It is doubtful if Paisley will get any real 
support since the concessions apply to all. 

Although they lost 10 of their best people 
the republican movements have gained publ- 
icity and support. There has been an increase 
in recruits and finances to the IRA and INLA 
in response to the intransigence and repress- 
ion of the British government. Much of the 
media coverage has identified them, especially 
SF/IRA as the sole protaganists in the hunger 
strike protests; and through elections there 

are 2 IRSP (and 2 PD ) councillors and one 
SF member of parliament. It will be very 
interesting to see what social and political 
statements Owen Carron now produces (if 
any) that the strike is over. If Adams stands 
against Fitt in the next election, will the new 
attitude in favour of electioneering force 
SF to come up with answers other than 
'Brits Out'. 

The H-Block/Armagh Committee concentrat- 
ed on the lobbying of priests and politicians, 
and it was these forces by their manipulation 
which helped defeat the hunger strike. This 
concentration shows a bankruptcy of pol- 
itical ideas. Republican News, while offering 
detailed reports of protests and explanations 
of the prisoners motives, made no real attem- 
pt at analysing how the hunger strike could 
have won, other than parroting the SF leader- 
ship's lobbying tactics. The last H-Block 
committee elected in Dundalk consisted of 
no new people who were likely to adopt a 

Religion began when the people of this 

earth tried to work out the fertility of 
themselves, the fertility of the land, the 
effects of the sun and the moon: later, as 
it got itself organised in the hands of a 
'few', it became the path to 'knowledge' 
as defined by that few. Now, it works as a 
control over and above us. A control that 
operates through fear and guilt; the emot- 
ions of the mind they prey upon. A bit 
like the 'state', that body of opinion- 
makers, laws and law enforcers; all those 
who seem to have the say over our daily 
lives. Like the church, the state operates 
by putting fear in our heads, and punish- 
ment in the here and now to our bodies. 

With the church, our heads are strictly 
finite, an empty case to be filled by a lim- 
ited line of thought - what they tell us. The 
state allows us to think what we like, th- 
ough spends a considerable amount of en- 
ergy making sure we think what they like. 

Continued on inside page 

fresh approach but was made up largely of 
the old nationalist brigade. 

There have been many people outside the 
republican groups who were fined and impr- 
isoned for the protests. The arrests will cont- 
inue for the protests. The arrests will contin- 
ue for previous action. Recently in the 
South a young man received 8 years for 
burning down a castle, to highlight the 
H-Block issue. The National Committee 
has a responsibility to defend and support 
these people, in addition to the efforts of 
local committees who can't bear all the costs, 
nor don't have the resources of publicity. 

There may be a period of quiet in Long 
Kesh and Armagh for a few months, but the 
struggle will inevitably continue, and we hope 
it will not only be an extension of the fight 
against the British, but also against prison 

When it came to showing to millions of 
viewers each week the scenes of inner city 
blight, houses that aren't fit to live in, kids 
with nowhere to play and the continual 
Army/Police presence it was too much for 
the BBC... They deemed the video which 
accompanied the 'Police's' new single as 
too political. They were afraid that even 
showing the social conditions was danger- 
ous and might suggest to people in Britain 
that all was not quite as normal as the 
British Government would have them . 
believe and that the appal ing conditions 
may even be why people are resisting. 
But don't be fooled into thinking that the 
'police' are concerned about the situation 
here (what with their ex-CIA manager and 
their third world tours pushing western 
consumer culture, not to mention their 
generous handouts to a social democrat line 

Crass info. 

Meanwhile the next single from the Crass is 
about — guess what — yes, Ireland. After 
paying them a visit we can assure our . 
readers that they aren't the usual rip-off 
and sell out types, but feel sure that the 
single will benefit people here in some way. 
They have another project in the pipeline 
concerning Ireland which could involve 
you. Watch this space for further info.... 
Footnote: When asked about their last 
visit to Dublin, the Police singer Sting 
said, "There were young kids up at the 
front throwing bottles at my head, saying 
that we were cultural agents of British 
Imperialism'/ I! 


This heading has become a bit of a stand- 
ing joke when people are talking about the 
present strategy (if it is one) of the IRA 
leadership. At not one stage in the H-Block 
Hunger Strike did there come from this 
quarter a clear and easily seen position. So 
it begs the question what are you going to 
do now ? We have watched, and in many 
cases been amazed, by the speed with 
which this organisation changes its mind 
as to how and where they will allow the 
people to act From encouraging resistance 
to outright oppression of the same resist- 
ance, we have watched them wavering and 
dithering as they strive to control the un- 
controllables/rebellious and, in the main, 

every and any attempt at resistance that 
undermines the IRA authority. It isn't 
new and it isn't correct. Why is it that 
they feel threatened when at the same 
time they mouth phrases and make state- 
ments about revolution ? From policing 
marches to prevent a riot with the tools of 
the free state government, they have now 
arrived at the position where they threat- 
en the people who riot in the aftermath of 
a hunger-striker's death - and worse. 

The Divis flats are regarded by even the 
most conservative of people as no more 
than a ghetto, fn the mind of many others, 
Divis Flats, like Ballymun, are the edifice 
of corruption and graft. They are not fit 
for human habitation and should be, like 
all the other hovels in which we are forced 
to live, destroyed, and replaced by struct- 
ures and accommodations that humans 
can live in, without having to worry about 
where the young people can play and wh- 
ether or not the winters will bring pneum- 
onia and all the other afflictions that 
Divis-like ghettoes entail. 

Yet what do we see ? In this, of all 
areas, one of the most deprived in an al- 
ready poverty-stricken wasteland, the loc- 
al priest and his cohorts descend with 
brushes and paint in a perverse 'Clean Up 
Divis Campaign' - and who is it have threal 
ened local people not to interfere in the 
forthcoming spectacle ? None other than 
the IRA. How can this statement of pol- 
icy be reconciled with the facts of Divis 
and the other deprived areas of the count- 
ry in general ? This priest is foremost in 
condemnation of the people when they 
act to resist their oppressors. Are we to 
witness the IRA pandering to the dement- 
ed notion of a priest that poverty looks a 
lot better with a coat of paint ? Or that a 
bottle of disinfectant will remove the app- 
alling stink of the carcass of this sick soc- 
iety that is so well symbolised in the Divis 

No-one, I am confident, likes dirt, and 
few would regard it as pleasureable to 

live in decaying surroundings, but there is 
a clear distinction between self-imposed 
decay and the type of decay that Divis 
flats suffer from. As with the other ghett- 
oes, it shares the distinguished Housing 
Executive as landlord, and though, as a 
body, they inherited the rent books from 
the old Corporation, they are the respons- 
ible body - as they will often remind those 
in arrears of rent ! It isn't for the people 
to put a brave face on their social inequal- 
ity, neither is it for the priest or the IRA 
to aid in this masquerade - which would 
be really funny if it wasn't such a serious 

There is no option to the people of 
Divis. The fact is, they are the victims of 
other people's greed, and their sufferings 
will not be alleviated by brightly-coloured 
paint or other decoration. It is a bit like 
offering someone with bad breath a 
bottle of mouthwash. What the person 
really needs is a healthy diet that will 
prevent such a problem. So too, with the 
people of Divis. They need better and 
more comfortable homes if they are to 
prevent outbreaks of brush-wielding pr- 
iests outraged by the unsightly state of the 
poverty in Divis. Why, for instance, does- 
n't the priest go along and make noises 
with the people who claim the rents but 
not the social responsibilities of these 
blocks of builders' profits ? 

- From a political prisoner in 
Northern Ireland. 

Letter from a Belgium after a visit here. 

..But it reminded me too much of the 
German occupation at the time, and 
although I was only 10 by the end of the 
war I have had enough fears to have certain 
feelings now when seeing armed troops and 
police on the streets. But to tell you the 
truth, in a way I find it worse to have to 
see the RUC than the British, because the 
RUC should be your own people. It was the 
same thing in Spain when I made a quick 
trip there in 1971 or so. 

Continued from front page 

All this helps to explain the hysteria of 
the moral and legal authorities to 'mind- 
altering' drugs amidst the jargon ab- 
out fear for our safety, protection of the 
young etc, etc., they set strict legal and 
moral limits on our experiences. If they 
were so concerned with our health and our 
state of mind, wouldn't they do something 
about that which is destroying us ? about 
lead in the petrol ? or DDT in every vege- 
table ? or men walking about with guns ? 
No - they are too busy in case our minds 
- our bodies - get outta control. Maybe we 
could think independently, maybe we 
could act independently. But we are for- 
bidden the use of those drugs available ar- 
ound us which can teach us, which can al- 
ter our perspectives, our way of looking at 
our day-to-day existence. Maybe that 
boring job isn't worth it any more; maybe 
the rules and regulations, the do's and 
don't's of church and law just don't make 
much sense anymore. Maybe the potential 
of. our daily life is something other than it 
is. To think like that is to think revolution- 
ary, which is always the fear of church 
and state. 

But that is not to say that a handful of 
magic mushrooms will change the person, 
will bring a revolution in Lady Dixon's . . . 

the means of altering the mind can be ab- 
used just as it is used. But as long as halluc- 
inogenic mushrooms are kept in the dark, 
a sin and a crime, then our use and our 
knowledge can only get warped by their 
interference. Magic Mushrooms have been 

used throughout history from 

'christians' and 'jews' to 'druids' and 

'witches' but always by the few, eager 

to keep the knowledge, the experience, 
from the many - to have power over them. 
Such power in ourselves - each and every 
one of us - the church and state will always 
try to prevent. 

But care - magic mushrooms which are 
springing up in all the parks, golf-courses 
and horse-manured fields of Ireland, are a 
bit different from state-approved, profit- 
motivated drugs like va/ium and alcohol.... 
the experience is a bit different from the 
rosary or a few hymns ! Start small, have 
someone who knows them to identify 
them. That way, the experience spreads 
and abuse is easier to avoid. It is best to 
TAKE them along with someone who has 
experimented before. The effects are mon- 
umental; not at all easy to describe 

Suffice it to say that you are altering the 
state of your mind from its everyday clos- 
et. You break out of the very clearly def- 

ined strictures of our day-to-day existence 
in a way that few can achieve by mere ex- 
perience alone. In altering your thinking - 
and acting - self, you need to be in 'safe' 
and relatively free surroundings, somewh- 
ere you can wander physically and ment- 
ally. It is NOT recommended to try magic 
mushrooms anywhere where police, par- 
ents or unsympathetic people are about ... 
you are going out of your head as you 
have known it, and it's enough to deal 
with yourself without having to relate to 
those laying the 'heavy norm' upon you. 

Take them when you FEEL you are 
ready for an experience quite unlike any 

other not when someone forces or 

persuades you. Likewise, to spike anyone 
is a mean and dangerous antic and you'll 
get rewarded accordingly. 

Legal Note:- the active ingredient of 
psilocybin mushrooms is outlawed, and 
placed alongside heroin and concaine - 
Class A - under the Misuse of Drugs Act . . 
it carries big penalties ! However, you're 
only guilty if you 'make a preparation'. 
Picking mushrooms and eating them is not 
a crime, nor is the possession of mush- 
rooms which have 'dried naturally in the 
sun' before you pick them. And believe 
it or not, they sometimes do ! 


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James Rafferty and Jack Hassard are twc 

names the RUC would like to forget or 

silence. Last week Rafferty was charged 
with the murder of 2 RUC men, and Hass- 
ard spoke in his defence. 

Their names were first linked in 1976. 
After interrogation at Omagh RUC barr- 
acks, Rafferty was taken to hospital for 
treatment. His case was one of many wh- 
ere systematic torture was used to get 
'confessions', and which was exposed int- 
ernationally by Amnesty International 
and Peter Taylor's book 'Beating the Terr- 
orists ?'. 

Then a member of the Police Authority, 
Jack Hassard, (also an independent counc- 
illor and ICTU representative on the PA) 

found his allegations of torture were sub- 
stantiated by medical evidence. He began 
to push Chief Constable Newman for a 
prosecution against the RUC involved, 
but with little effect. 

Rafferty took out a civil court action 
which has yet to be heard. Hassard, after 
2 l A years of pressure on both the RUC 
and the DPP, won a partial success. In 
December 1980, a tribunal, under the te- 
rms of the N.I. Police Act, was set up into 
the allegations. 

In a clever move though, The Defence 
counsel, Ferguson, asked Rafferty if he 
was area O.C. of the Provisional IRA. 
The Chair, Gibson, and prosecution coun- 
sel, Boal, both advised Rafferty not to 
answer, whereupon the RUC walked out. 
The Tribunal had no power to sub-poena 
tlieir evidence, so it soon ended. But as a 
result, 4 RUC detectives (one chief insp- 
ector and 3 constables) were charged by 
the DPP with causing actual bodily harm. 
The trial is the first of its kind and is due 

It is more than coincidence that Raff- 
erty was re-arrested last week for 2 murd- 
ers in early September. What is strange is 
Rafferty's apparent watertight alibi with 
dozens of 'respectable' citizens to testify 
as to his whereabouts. It is also known 
that he's been under constant survellance 
since his first release. Jack Hassard app- 
eared at his remand hearing and said that 
because of his interest in Rafferty since 
1976, he believed him innocent. 

If and when the case comes to court, 
(internment by remand is not uncommon) 
Rafferty will have spent many months in 
prison. It is likely that during the RUC 
detectives' trial, he will still be in prison. 
This will give the RUC three advantages - 
He is punished for alleging assault; 
The charge against him, even if dropped, 
will stick like mud (it is alleged he is on 
a loyalist hit squad in Fermanagh )\ 
and the RUC on trial won *t look so bad if 
their accuser is in prison, suspected of 


The BBC has recently hand picked a new batch ol 
of puppets which it can use to give the impressior 
that the media is fair, balanced and'democratic. 
The BBC will no doubt use this committee in 
rubber stamping its consistent censoring and dist- 
ortion of whats reallv go ng on here. 

Most of the notables on tho council are, of course 
capitalists who will be only too glad in cooperat- 
ing as its in their own interests to maintain and 
reinforce their position and ideology. Of course 
we have the t oken liberals to give it credibility, 
like John Freeman, Secetary of the TGWU and 
Hugh Frazer. director of the N.Ireland Voluntary 
Trust, but I guess that they have already sold out 
by sitting along side such shits. 

Meanwhile our Berlin correspondent 

"A week of constant demos, some riots, 
and reflection on the killing of the young 
demonstrator - forced by a police charge 
into a busy road and knocked under a bus. 
Now there is the amazing memorial in the 
road where he was killed - which is a 
'shrine' (non-religious) of flowers and 
poems and candles, plus displays, and the 
graffiti all around the area, plus mattresses 
and tents where scores of people sleep every 
night. Theres always a couple of hundred 
people milling around, and the road is , 
permanently blocked in one direction. 
The pigs don't know what to do, and it's 
right in a main part of the town — a very 
wide commercial street 
Yesterday, an ordinary 45 year old bloke 
in a Mercedes (!) refused to stop when 
told to by a pig - who then panicked and 
shot the driver dead. Gets more like Belfast 
every minute..." 


The state maintains that every family has 
the right to a home, yet thousands live in 
overcrowded conditions, in slums, in cars, 
in caravans, in hostels or doss in the 

So why no action? 

Everyone is aware of the appalling housing situat- 
ion, thousands are affected by it , yet it has rem- 
ained an area of little agitation or activity. Frag- 
ile links between protestant and catholic groups 
engaged in some form of agitation are easily 
broken by sectarianism or the priority given to 
the national question. 

Housing action groups have been manipulated by 
political parties for their own ends and by gover- 
nment city council agents who clearly channel 
peoples energy into forming committees to meet 
with bureaucrats, into signing petitions, and 
advice centres which only offer words and not 

Individuals, fed up with sub si 
or even worse, no house at all, are forced to 
squat. When faced with the threat of eviction 

On the 5th of September 1981, the 
anarchist prisoner, CARL HARP, was 

» -- - _l I ■ .L . I - - .I-.L-J „_,J 

round dead, witn tnis wrists siasnea ana 
hung by a telephone wire in his cell in 
Walla Walla prison in Washington. The 
State declared it as a suicide act, but peop 
le who know about Carl's life and his 
work in prison know it was MURDER. 

Having been sentenced to four consec- 
utive life-terms for rape and murder 
(Carl maintains his innocence) he decided 
to fight the prison regime and the State, 
by any means he had inside the prison. He 
evolved, through a constant and intense 
struggle with the State.into an anarchist, 
and co-founded the anarchist Black Drag- 
on Collective, and their publication 'Black 
Dragon Anarchist'. His revolutionary work 
in prison included the churning out of 
letters to the outside, helping other prison 
ers in their legal questions, teaching some 
to read, and writing books. 

He was threatened (two years ago) to be 
killed, after he had taken ten staff hostag- 
es, together with two others, to high-light 
the poor prison conditions. 

Carl Harp won several suits against the 
State, made the judge declare Walla Walla 
as ' CRUEL AND UNUSUAL' and was 
awarded S7000 for being illegally kept in 
segregation for 14 months. 
He was a THREAT to the State. They 
I and feared him. So they killed him. 
: In Memory of Carl Harp : 

the housing executive are finally forced to offer 
you some alternative accomodation. It is diffic- 
ult to get support as most people see it as queue 
jumping with the weakest going to the wall. 
In Britain, the anarchists pioneered squatting, it 
was a great form of direct action, it forced the 
state to admitt that there IS a housing problem, 
and it introduced people into alternative ways of 
living. Most squatting took place in the private 
sector, which eventually led to heavy confrontat- 
ions during evictions. It did a lot to thwart the 
property speculators plans. Empty council prop- 
erty was also squatted which forced the councils 
to make all sorts of concessions and build more 

In Northern Ireland there happens to be very 
little squatting in private property, which is main : 
ly in middle class areas. This factor would make 
potential squatters isolated and vunerable to 
police/ army harassment and sectarian attacks. It 
restricts squatting to working class ghettoes 
which are largely owned by the housing execut- . 

Squat now whUe stocks last! 
Perhaps more attention should be given to the 
University area. There are empty houses and 
being a middle class mixed area,ae less likely to 
hostile attacks. Along with the Catholic church, 
Quees University own a lot of houses and would 
be less likely to go for all out confrontation, as 
this might highlight their role as property specul- 
ator. Squatting would challenge the private land- 
lords in that area who flagrently exploit the need 
for homes by demanding figures as ludicrous as 
£200 a month for a flat (next time give your land 
lord what you think is a resonable figure 1) And 
just think of the potential of the Russel Court 
Hotel, which has lain empty for years whilst it 
could be housing hundreds who are in need of a 
home. Queens University were thinking of buying 
it from its present owners, CIE (the Southern 
Transport Company ...but surely there are people 
more deserving and in need than students? 


With the H-Block campaign dying out in 
the South, it seemed a mistake for the 
State to charge 19 people in connection 
with the Embassy riot. This case could 
provide a rallying point for people and an 
opportunity to attack the repressive mach- 
inery of the South, especially the Special 
Criminal Court. Whether this happens or 
not depends on whether people in the 
South can be motivated enough to do 
something about repression and become 
aware of the parallels between North and 

But the fact that the people were arrest- 
ed in the first place cannot be taken out of 
context. Some people have cynically sugg- 
ested that it was done because the Spea^^ 
Branch had nothing else to do ! This den- 
ies the fact that the cops have^Mpeen 
sitting around on their arses for the last 
few weeks. JHm 

We have a new coalition government 
and for all its LiberjjjSocial Democratic 
mutterings, one of its central concerns is 
law and order. This is especially important 
now that 'the recession is getting deeper'. 
Unemployment is increasing - officially, 
there are now 130,000 unemployed. Also, 
people are beginning to experience a real 
cut in living standards. Inflation is present- 
i, having increased by 
lonths. The dole is 
ic 60p in October. In 
resistance could eas- 
ion are making sure (or 
at it does not occur, j 

Their outlook could be summed up by 
saying that they want to show firmly 'who 
is the boss'. The cops have adapted this att- 
itude and, looking back to the last coalit- 
ion, they know they can get away with anv 
thing they like. The last coalition was not- 
orious for its law and order outlook. It 
brought in 7-day detention, and under it 
the 'heavy gang' were free to do as they 
pleased. They beat confessions out of peop 
le, which were judged to be 'valid' in the 
juryless Special Criminal Court [not diss- 
imilar to the conveyer belt in the North] . 

The cops are very conscious of the fact 
that the coai^njo^g|H^^ndthe 
ive become more cocky, ai 
s people have been severely 

H-Block campaign. When they turned out 
for the Picket, one son was told that he 
would 'get it' by the cops. 

On the 8th of September, his brother 
was forcibly abducted, taken to the 
grounds of an old manor and beaten to 
shit. Perhaps it's no coincidence that Ned 
Ryan, who was head of the heavy gang, is 
now stationed in Crumlin. 

In Ringsend (also on the South side) on 
the 13th of September, a 17 year old lad 
was arrested and taken to Irishtown Stat- 
ion. Here he was beaten, kicked and had 
his head knocked off a wall. When his 
father complained, he was ignored (as 
usual). In this area youngsters are being 
Ltantly harassed. 
Thesfeare just 3 incidents where attent- 
ion has been drawn to them. Others are 

In Crumlin (a working-class area on the 

side), on the 22nd of August, two occuring but have gone unreported. Also, 

men were picked up by the Crumlin Gard- th * harassment of those still involved in 

the^Wpck Campaigticontinues. The cop; 
are determined to show that they are the 

ai. One of them was so badly beaten that 
they had to call an ambulance to the stat- 
ion. He had to spend 1 3 days in hospital 
recovering. It seems that this was in retal- 
iation, because these two had complained 
about being stopped, held at gunpoint, and 
searched, the week before. The injured man 
was later charged with assaulting a cop. 

A Picket v«Kalled by the Papers' 
Rights Organlfation, to protest ^KHit the 
beating. In tip course of organisirig it, 
they discovered that the cops were invol- 
ved in harassing and beating local youths. 
One family in particular, where there are 
11 children, was getting a bad time of it 
All of the kids had been involved in the 


As the recession gets worse, the occur- 
ance of such incidents is likely to increase. 
Also, we should not think that having a 
Fianna Fail government would make any 
•difference. Under it, people were equally 

^karassed; especially H-Blonk activists. 
^Lt under the coalition, t^^^^^^fof 

harassment has increased. Hopefully the 
of the 19 people will' be used to ex- 
pose the repressive nature of 'the Free 
State', and show that the 'bosses' can be 

The German word 'Tu wat' means 'do some- 
thing'. So during August and Sept. a 'Tu wat' 
festivaf&ccured in Berlin. Below are somfl| 
thoughts and accounts on what happened 
during a part of that month. 


Those involved in challenging the state, cap- 
italism, and the patriarchy are all part of 'the 
movement'. How individuals and groups org- 
anise is very different from here in Ireland, 
or even in Britain. There are few infiuencial 
groups attempting to 'build their party'. 
Anarchists, socialists, womens collectives, 
gays, punks, individuals are all part of that 
movement. Socialist/Anarchist groups are few 
and far between because these philosophies 
and to a lesser extent feminist philosoph^^J 
accepted rather than having to be argued for 

Another new type of political philosophy has 
developed, especially among the punks, where 
the notion of the 'revolution' will never come 
about. The struggle is today and now, a strugg- 
le involving yourself in everything on a day to 
day basis - transport, entertainment, drink, 
housing are all stolen, liberated, taken or what 
ever - so there is a constant battle with auth- 

The present strength of the movement comes 
from the squatters. Berlin at present has 
10,000 empty buildings which are used in the 
game of property speculation, building. luxury 
apartments, office blocks, and of course there 

is a housing^ shortage more acute than most 

young people because it is governed not by 
W. Germany but by the 'Allied ' Powers. They 
go there to escape compulsory conscription. 

One hundred and sixty buildings are squatted. 

^W5lmWPWMI^5-6 stories high which 
Be already divided into flats and can house 
^Rween 100-150 people. Those who are invol- 
ved are not interested in negotiating with the 
Rate. The local parliament has attempted to 
Integrate the squatters, by having dialogue 

ith an aim at reforms, such as legalised 
squats similar to short life property in London 
There is a struggle against the state, and hous- 
ng as a basic need is only part of that struggle 
fetfrerj areas include prisons, capitalism, anti- 
imperialisttj^nti-nuclear, gay politicsajUB 
inism. Actions and the spreading of informat- 
ion against multinationals, banks, department 
res continues. I didn't see one bank 
't have its windows smashed -th< 
no longer replace the pUite glass but rather 
glue more glass on over the holes and cracks. 

Activity has increased greatly around prisons 
since many people have been put away over 
squatting, anti-imperialist activities and during 
the last hungerstrike. The political prisoners 
in Berlin. (RAF and 2nd June members) rec- 
eive a special status- that of isolation torture. 
Their campaign in the past has been one of 
attempting to win the same conditions as the 
social seems likely that they will 
restart a hungerstrike during October for that 

The state has made obvious its recognition of 

ink which Q( 

KeT stl 

the political motivation of r^^H^^ftocial 
prisoners in that they are building a new 
isolation/^ igh security prisdBror up to 200 
prisoners and Berlin has only 12 RAF prison- 
ers. AftE^k demonstration md by a punk 
band, protesting against the new prison, the 
police fired tear-gas and chased demonstrat- 
ors into the underground where they indiscr 
inately went into the carriages and beat up 
le whether they were on the march or 


An anti-imperialist demonstration against the 
visit of Haig to Berlin attracted 80,000 and 
there was fierce street battles afterwards. I n 
Berlin not only can you be arrested for offen- 
sive weapons, but defensive ones as well. 
This includes having a scarf, or being in poss- 
ession of a 'lemon'! (by squirting into the 
face this can help to offset the effects of 

Tie of the biggest surprises for me was the 
strength of the counter-culture. The move- 
ment has its own bars (one was called after 
Bobby Sands), cafes, films, videos, cabaret, 
daily newspapers, bookshops, halls, free 
schools, cityfarms, social centres, printshops 
(both litho and silkscreen), etc., etc. 
Something which impressed me took place 
at a mass squatters meeting to decide what 
action to take during the proposed eviction 
of 8 houses. There were no groups , parties, 
or collectives there arguing their line - but 
rather 300 individualswho all had opportun- 
ities to say what they wanted, and many did. 
No chairperson was required and as is unus- 
ual in mass meetings, women dominated. 

Sold with Outta Control 10p (outside Ireland 15p) PRODUCED INDEPENDENTLY BY ANARCHA-FEMINISTS 

m ISSUE N 0.8 OCTOBER 1981 




demands, but true emancipation begins neither at the 
nor in courts. It begins in woman's soul. History 
s that every oppressed class gained true liberation 
from its masters through its own efforts. It is necessary 
that woman learn that lesson, that she realise that her 
freedom will reach as far as her power to achieve her 
freedom reaches. EMMA GOLDMAN 191 1 

Mondays child is born 
with force 

Thursdays child, the same, 
of course.... 

If you are pregnant and living in 
Fermanagh then you can accurat- 
ely predict that your baby will 
be born on a Monday or a Thursdj 
day during the working day. Some 
Some natural births do occur 
spontaneously but it is evident 
that obstetricians in the Erne 
hospital in Enniskillen, the only 
hospital in Fermanagh serving 
the whole county, are over enthus 
iastic about inducing birth and 
there may be as many as 80% of 
births induced for reasons of 
administration and social ease. 
Induction was the in thing in the 
middle seventies with over half the 
births in Britain being induced and 
one or two hospitals reaching the 80% 
mark. It has now become 'unfashion- 
able' and hospitals like the Royal 
Victoria hospital in Belfast for 
example are cutting induction rates 
down to what is thought medically 
necessary-around 5%-10%. In fact it 
is possible to have a Leboyer type 
birth in the RVH on request. 

Much of the controversy has centred 
around the hormone oyytocin, which 
is used widely to stimulate contractions 
The problem with oxytocin is that 
there is no safe standard dose and a 
woman on an oxytocin drip has to 
be constantly monitored with special 
equipment to see whether the uterus 
is under or over stimulated. It needs 
no stretcj^f the imagination to see 

that half a dozen births being induced 
at the same time with short staffing 
or other emergencies happening, are 
not going to get the constant monitor- 
ing, accuracy and sensitivity that there 
should be and midwives often do have 
to look after 2 or 3 labours at the 
same time. 

A woman on an oxytocin drip is more 
likely to rupture the womb or to give 
birth by Caesarian section. Her blood 
pressure may rise and foetal distress 
particulary the baby's breathing is 
more likely. In view of the high 
infant mortality rate in Fermanagh 
anyway this becomes even more worry- 
ing. Many mothers who have been 
induced complain that their contraction 
ions have speeded up so dramatically 
that they have lost control over their 
relaxation techniques— some women 
have not been able to relax at all during 
contractions because of the speed with 
which one contraction overlapped 
another and they were in continual pain 
In America the FDA has withdrawn its 
approval of oxytocin for induction and 
doctors can only induce for medical 
reasons like toxaemia, diabetes or 
distress in the foetus. What this has 
meant in practice is that more induct- 
ions are shifted into the 'medically 
necessary' category. In this country 
there is no control whatsoever over the 
use of oxytocin and it is therefore 
important that all women are informed 
of the risks involved and of alternative 
methods plus the choice to have their 




Some years ago Rosie Nolan took 
her own life. She hung herself in a 
flat in Turf Lodge, finally giving 
herself release from the depression 
induced by her surroundings. Her 
action provoked women in the area 
in similar conditions to get together 
and demand that something be done 
about the situation that they lived 

Turf Lodge flats were built in the early 
sixties. As time went by it was clear that 
they had been built in a hasty and unplan- 
ned way that suited the building contract- 
or (and saved him a great deal of money) 
but not the future tenants. Materials had 
been cheap and costs had been cut to a 
minimum again at the expense of the 
tenants. Condensation is a fact of life, 
Continued on Page 3 

baby naturally (over 90% of births 
have no complications). Women in 
Fermanagh do not have this choice, 
they are being pressurised into induction 
for hospital convenience and routine— 
and often they are ignorant of the risks 

Women in Fermanagh are not allowed 
any choice as the only other hospitals, 
Omagh and Newry, are miles away, 
and their only alternative is to 'fiddle 
their dates' and hope they go into 
labour naturally before they are taken 

Out of work 
on the Falls 

September 8th was the date 
when school leavers could sign 
on for the first time if they had 
left school in the previous six 
months. The queues outside the 
Falls Road dole office stretched 
far down the road and seemed 
to stay around the same size for 
most of that Monday and the 
following few days. The office 
stayed open each evening to 
seven and half seven trying to 
cope with their 'normal' business 
and this new influx. The Falls 
Road dole office is a place where 
every taxi stops passing the 
people streaming down to sign 
on, through the deafening turn- 
stile, worn shoes and boots look- 
ing out of place on the dark 
brown carpet lit up by the sun 
glinting through the tinted 
windows. Identical security 
women in their uniforms with 
their faces caked with powder 
stand at each entrance and door- 
way and security cameras peer 
round every corner, inside and 
out as if someone is watching 
from a hidden room. Never a 
word is uttered as you sign on 
except maybe what held you up 
this morning. The man behind 
the desk is in a different world. 

In the weeks to followpeople were to 
be given signing on times as late as 6.30 
and 7.00pm-the Falls Road dole is 
one of the busiest in town. One of the 
ways around it has been to make all 
those over 50 sign on only once in 3 
months! For them the message is clear- 
don't call us, we'll call you... .your 
working life is effectively over. 

Paid work in our society is generally 
repetitive and boring-it is a means to 
gain money. When all is said and done 

there are very few people who would 
willingly go on working if they could 
get the money some other way. But 
money is important in out society, it 
brings status, it makes life more comf 
ortable, more bearable and for all but 
the idle rich to get money you have to 
work. That is the message of school- 
work hard and get a job at the end, of 
the media, get promotion, more money 
and spend etc. 

If you can't work for whatever reasons 
sickness, disability, age, gender or 
because you can't get any then you are 
penalised. You are given a handout by 
the State to make life not for living but 
subsisting, so small that you can only 
get basic food (if that) so you can't 
afford to get too warm, or drink too 
much, or get out of your area very 
often. You are a reject, a scrounger. 
Very often those out of work come to 
believe this message , they begin to see 
themselves as the State sees them- 
worthless, a parasite living off others, 
they blame themselves for their 
situation. Sometimes though, the 
unemployed become angry and chall- 
enge the State and its forces as happen- 
ed in Britain this summer when young 
people, balck and white, decided they 
had had enough of weddings and spend- 
ings when all they had was street corner: 
-they knew who was to blame. 
On the Falls Road this week the mood 
was bleak. Street corners are heavy 
with young men and women quietly 
talking and looking. The bookies are 
doing a roaring trade and the pubs 
are fairly full though the customers 
didn't go up to the counter too often. 
In the shops the selection is narrowing 
because customers stick to basics and 
luxeries like biscuits or butter are not 
in too big a demand. Depression is all 
around you. And the situation is not 
helped by soldiers patrolling constant- 
ly stopping the groups at the street 
corners to hassle just to give themselve: 
something to do. Its ironic that most 
of those same soldiers joined up so 
they didn't have to stand on similar 
\ street corners in Bradford or Hull or 
Newcastle upon Tyne! The oppressed 
make the best oppressors. 

Women on the Falls are bearing the brunt, 
trying to make inelastic money stretch, 
getting into debt, borrowing from the 
credit unions for the 'extras' like shoes 
and underwear. The tickman has again 
become a familiar visitor on a Friday 
night about teatime-the dole cheque 
would have come that morning. 
Repression, oppression, degradation-call 
it what you will but the people of the Falls 
have been kicked, beaten and battered to 
their knees, like people in so many other 
communities here. Violence has been a 
presence on these streets for over 10 years 
now, the potential for more stands on the 
street corners and all the youth employ- 
ment schemes, training centres and job 
centres in the world won't stop it. Even 
the state, well practised in the arts of 
cunning and pulling the wool over our 
eyes can go too far-the harvest has yet 
to be gathered 

For better or 
worse and worse! 

The recent debates over the 
changing of the Irish Constitution 
particulary in relation to divorce, 
have been more concerned with 
making the 26 counties more 
acceptable to the loyalists in a 
future United Ireland, instead of 
being directed at the mess that 
exists in the South for the 50,000 
people whose marriages have 
broken down and the many more 
who are denied the right to 
contraception and abortion. 
If certain polls and politicians are to 
be believed, there is a majority opinion 
in the South that the ban on divorce 
should be removed and that each 
individual has a basic civil right to 
divorce and that with the holding of a 
referendum, this ban would be 

The Catholic church, whose strength 
and influence in the thirties and forties 
resulted in the ban on divorce and 
other reationary social policy, have not 
remained silent this last fortnight. It 
was remarked that 'people who 
advocate divorce will do more harm 
to this country than the men of 
violence' and Catholics are urged to 
accept the totally out of touch with 
reality solution of 'the family that 
prays together, stays together'. 
For many women, especially those who 
have been battered and abused, had to 
put up with excessive drinking and 
misery, there is a need to be emotion- 
ally and legally free from the husband 
and to ensure that there is no 
harassment in the future. It is possible 
to obtain a legal separation in the South 
but to do this both sides must co-oper- 
ate and many women have complained 
that their husbands have laughed at 
them when they suggested 'anything 

Men are also much freer to desert, 
especially to England, where there is 
no need to give any identification and 
it has proved impossible for the woman 
to find her husband and claim mainten- 
ance from him. Men (and women) 
who desert are also able to obtain a 
divorce in England on those grounds 
because they are domiciled outside 
of the Republic although the status 
of the spouse left behind remains 
unchanged— the divorce is not recogn- 

Social policy, particulary in relation to 
the family and the rights of the indiv- 
idual—divorce, contraception, abortion, 
homosexuality-is archaic in the South 
and has become a huge public problem. 
The Irish Constitution, steeped as it 
is in 1930's Catholic preachings, is 
totally unsuitable for a modern society 
and people are rejecting what has been 
aptly termed finding an Irish solution 
to an Irish problem and demanding 
a secular society. 

Continued from page 1 
as is damp clothing and bedding, growths 
over the walls and the incidence of bron- 
chitis and related diseases. The final straw 
came when sewage started to leak into 
the flats particulary after rain and the 
whole area was rife with rats and other 
vermin which tenants despite all efforts 
could not get rid of. The Housing Execut- 
ive who were responsible for the flats 
kept fobbing off the tenants and denying 
their complaints in the press, inferring 
that the tenants had brought the condit- 
ions about themselves. 
The Women's Action Committee led 
by Kathleen Tibideau pressured, picketed 
demonstrated and used every means 
possible to bring attention to their 
plight. Finally an independent firm of 
surveyors were brought in to assess the 
flats and the Housing Executive agreed 
to accept their findings. The report was 
a great victory for the women-it said 
that all the complaints against the flats 
were correct, the flats were unfit for 
human habitation due to bad construct- 
ion and poor quality materials and they 
recommended rehousing for the tenants 
and that the flats should be knocked 
down. Publicly embarrassed, the Housing 
Executive gave way and agreed to do so. 
The women's committee had been 

After the euphoria had died down the 
press forgot about the flats and moved 
on. Unfortunately though three years 
later, most of the tenants have not 

moved on they are still living in the flats. 
Why? Because the Housing Executive 
still hasn't rehoused them and asserts 
that it won't have houses until at least 

The Women's Committee have been 
forced back onto the streets again. 
Conditions in Turf Lodge are now 
worse than when the report came out 
because some tenants were rehoused and 
their flats bricked up-leaving lots of 
space for rats to build nests and tunnels 
throughout the complex. They have 
already picketed the HE offices. The HE 
have predictably responded by saying 
they have not got any houses. The tenants 
they say refuse to move out of the area 
(to estates like Poleglass or Antrim/ 
Craigavon) and the tenants reply why 
should they, they have been there for 
many years, and that the Housing Execut- 
ive is responsible for the state of living 
conditions in the Turf Lodge flats. 
The result is stalemate. Meanwhile women 
must worry about their children being 
bitten by rats, about contamination from 
sewage and about damp. The attitudes 
of the state is clear.... the working class 
is never a priority, they can be allowed 
to live in conditions like these because 
their bargaining power is small. Pot holes 
in the streets of the Malone Road area 
on the other hand must be mended 
immediate ly-its very bad for car tyres 
you know 

The Irish Women's Diary and Guide Book 
is just out. There is a major section on 
women in Northern Ireland. Topics such as 
single parents, education, unemployment, 
poverty, social welfare, biographies on women 
women in Irish history, violence, justice, law 
and health. Its a pity they couldn't have 
found a more appropriate cover, 
preferably done by a woman. Diary costs 
£2.10. Available from Just Books, 7 Wine- 
tavern Street, Belfast 


Last July Gaining Ground exposed the 
activities of the boss of the Central 

Library....Mr.Crawley who abused the 

workers, made dictatorial decisions and 
provoked much anger and resentment 
when he banished the kids library to 
some obscure corner replacing it with 
a 'business reference ' section. (something 
the library already had). After reading 
the article in GG he threatened to sue 
but changed his mind when he realised 
that most of what had been said was 
actually true. 

Three months later, the dictatorship of 
the amazing Mr Crawley shows itself 
again. He has 1 decided to move the 
central library lending HQ (ie: that bit 
where all the branch libraries get their 
books) to the Shankill Road branch. 
As over 50% of the staff in this section 
are Catholics (in the Belfast meaning of 
the word) they have been forced to ask 
for transfers. Once again a total disreg- 
ard for the people who actually do the 
work in the library is displayed by 
Crawley. It seems that he is trying to 
create Ireland's first only prestigious 
REFERENCE library....and doing away 
with any contact with the people. This 
aim is helped along by moving the 
lending HQ out of the building. 

Crawley got an OBE for his troubles in 
1980 and obviously wants to retire with 
a knighthood. If the 'kids library' were 
to be transferred to his plush office for 
a day ot two that might thwart his plans. 


quote mer 

Mr. Prior after visiting the Kesh on the 
Hunger Strike declined to answer 
further questions saying "there will be 
plenty of time in the next few days, lam 
digesting things very carefully" r 

Ian Paisley on Mr. Prior "He didn 't 
understand anything about the Ulster 
Special Constabulary which he seemed 
to think was some sort of unofficial 
Protestant paramilitary grouping" and 
that Mr. Prior displayed "the belief that 
the Stormont administration feU when 
the Official Unionist Party walked out" 

Peter Robinson DUP on the Taoiseach 
and proposed constitutional changes, 
"perhaps one of the first admissions 
from a leader in the Republic of Ireland 
that the state there was built on a 
sectarian base" Why does such clarity 
stop at the border? 

Cardinal To Mass O Fiach on the ending 
of the Hunger Strike "Thank God, its 

Mrs.Prior in Robinsons and Cleavers 
"I want to get a pair of pyjamas for 
my husband and some tights" 


The Centre for torture where many 
women and men are brought to for 
internment is called DAL (dayak 
adama lazimdir) which means translated 
"people need corporal punishment!" 
It makes it obvious from the very start 
what sort of treatment prisoners have 
to expect there. In Turkey the police 
don't need any justification for to 
intern people, its enough to be a suspect 
ed 'anti-fascist'. 

In DAL, heavy torture is a daily routine. 
They let people stand on one leg. fingers 
touching the wall for any length of time 
from 1 day up to 10 days. During this 
they don't get any food or water and 
are not allowed to go to the toilet. When 
they get weak and fall down, they get 
beaten up. These methods described 
are only used to prepare people for the 
real torture which takes place in three 
special rooms. The most common forms 
are electric shocks on parts of the body 
(Falaka), beatings with a stick on the feet 
tearing out of single eyelashes and finger 
nails, beatings while having ice cold 
showers, cigarette burns and so on.. 
just about the maximum people can 
take without dying. The torture is so 
calculated. One reason for this is that 
once people are dead they can't talk 
and give information any more and the 
other reason is that it would appear bad 
in front of the European Parliament 
where there has been a lot of discussion 
about the 'violation of human rights' 
in Turkey. 

A woman prisoner reports after 4 months 
detention in the women's prison in 

We, the prisoners, felt the effects of 
protests from other countries very much. 

We are certain that our torturers have got 
the order to be careful and not let 
prisoners die. I heard of a case of a 
pregnant woman: the police didn't beat 
her and she wasn't treated with electric 
shocks.(cause those methods could have 
led to death for her and the unborn 
child) yet she was burnt with lit cigarette 
all over her body and her eyelashes were 
torn out. The pain she suffered was 
equally bad. But she didn't die. In 
another case the torture was stopped 
because of the breakdown of the tortured 
woman. In many cases the police treat 
the prisoners after torturing them. After 
the revolt the internment period was 
increased to 90 days so the cops have the 
possibility to detain prisoners as long as 
all the wounds have nearly or completely 

The women 's prison in Ankara 
For a long time there was only one prison 
MAMAK, for political prisoners in 
Ankara. Since MAMAK became too 
small , all the women were transferred 
into a second prison a transformed 
'school complex' . In the womens prison 
there does not exist any military 

education as in MAMAK. The big press- 
ure lies really in the torture, because 
they can take the women away to the 
centre DAL whenever they like. In many 
cases they have been taking relatives, 
wives, brothers and sisters of the male 
prisoners to the DAL to put pressure 
on the male prisoners to talk. 


There have been some actions and 
protests in the women's prison. On the 7th 
May 1981 all women prisoners took 
part in a solidarity action with a group 
of women prisoners who were not 
allowed their weekly visit. Everyone ref- 
used to go to the visit and there was a 
protest of the parents and relatives outside 
the prison for a whole day. After this 
incident the cops made the prison 
conditions worse. They introduced milit- 
ary education for about 50 prisoners, 
whom they accused of having led the 
protest action. But they had to stop 
doing it after two days because all the 
parents demanded of the 'security 
council' to stop the punishment. The 
prisoners inside have only a certain 
amount of abilities to protest and there 
is a lot of solidarity action needed from 
the outside. 

A few hundred women marched 6 miles from the border at Muff 
to join the Deny Civil Rights Anniversary March last Sunday, 4th 
October. Women have always been in the forefront of the campaign 
for the prisoners demands and some relatives of the dead hunger 
strikers attended the march 



outside Ireland 


News & Views of the, 

Belfast Anarchist Collective 1 

koo ttA- Control . 

| ^^U^chfeS .... As A«., 

Gay law reform which will result from the 
Strasbourg ruling must be welcomed espec- 
ially as it involves acting upon recommend- 
ations of the government Wolfenden report 
of nearly a quarter of a century ago! It is 
of course the barest minimum and it IS 
needed. However it must be recognised 
that so called 'reforms' are often merely 
an effort to regularise an existing de facto 
legal practice and in reality effectively 
'tighten up' laws not being changed. The 
introduction of such laws are usually 
accompanied by reinforced vigour on the 
part of a vindictive police force wishing 
to be seen to be enforcing the newly 
clarified legal sanctions. Since the passing 
of the '67 Act in England the number of 
persons convicted of indecency between 
males quadrupled! Talk of 'reform' over- 
looks the totally oppressive nature of the 
remaining laws against homosexuals and 
the discriminatory nature of law enforce- 
ment against gays. / 

[~ f iiuy f- — / 

The '67 Act sets the age of consent 
for gay men at the absurdly high age of 
21 years. Society entmsts its young adults 
with the power over life (parenthood and 
marriage) and death (in the armed forces) 
in their mid teens yet would not allow 
individuals of the same age the basic right 
to express love for another. 

Furthermore whereas heterosexuals can 
freely associate it is a serious offence for 
gays to meet one another publicly or to 
make any public expression of affection- 
even holding hands! Finally, private and 
public bodies, housing, newspapers, pubs, 
town halls, employers etc can all blatantly 
refuse to accomodate gays simply on the- ■> 
grounds of their sexuality ! 

Although the Strasbourg ruling establishes 
for the first time the rights of gays to a 
private life as a fundamental human right 

it did not deem it necessary to consider 
the wider implications of these rights. The 
contradiction seems to be that while every 
human being has equal human rights, some 
are less equal than others. The court decid- 
ed not to consider the rights of male gays 
under the age of 21. Likewise the court 
failed to consider the question of discrim- 
ination (1) on the basis of residence in 
N.I. (1 1) on the point of discrimination 
compared to female homosexuals and het- 

erosexuals, under Article 14 of the Conven 
tion which states :'The enjoyment of the 
rights and freedoms set forth in this Conv- 
ention shall be secured without discrimin- 
ation on any ground such as sex, race, 
colour, language, religion, political or 
other opinion'. The court deemed that 
having found Art. 8 breached that there 
was no need to consider Art 14 as well. 
They seemed to fear that consideration of 
this article would raise wider issues. This 
would raise the basic question about 
rights being equal for every citizen. There 
is scope for bringing a future conplaint on 
the breach of Article 14, but that could 
take another 5-6 years! 

The court stated that marked changes had 
occured in laws regarding homosexual 
behaviour throughout member states. The 
dissenting Irish judge feared that this 
might suggest that a Euro norm in the 
law on gays has been or can be evolved. 
To some extent such a Euro norm would 
hardly be likely nor would be desired by 
gays. For example to get an agreed Euro 
age of consent would mean accepting an 
arbitrary generall y agreed age. What can 
and must be done instead is to establish 
the principle that there should be equal 
treatment for heterosexuals and homosex- 
uals. The court ruled that it is up to 
National bodies to decide on an apporpiate 
age under which young people should have 
the protection of the law. This should mean 
equal protection for heterosexuals and 
homosexuals. A favourable ruling under 
Art 14 would have meant also that govern- 
ments would need to introduce anti- 
discriminatory laws such as in Norway. 

The ruling of the court requires the 
British Government to bring N.I. into 
line with the existin g laws on homosexual- 
ity in the rest of the U.K. However tliis 
does not mean that all future legislation 
on homosexuality wiH automatically be 
extended to N.I. The courts failure to 
consider discrimination, under Art. 14, on 
the grounds of residence in N.I. means 
that regional discrimination can continue 
Should legislation based upon the recom- 
mendations of the Policy Advisory Comm- 
ittee be introduced in the mainland it 
could be a decade or more before such 
legislation would be extended to here - 
if ever at all! 


The RUC have ingratiated themselves with 
a usually hostile community AND struck 
a blow for puritan morality... 

The opportunity arose recently in the 
Springhill area of Ballymurphy. Two 
young boys, aged 15 and 8, extended their 
play to include exploration of each others 
bodies. When the mother of the 15 year 
old learned of this, she asked the boy's 
uncle to take him to the local priest for 
advice. The priest suggested the social 

Instinctively bureaucratic, they took out a 
"Place of Safeiy Order" and brought the 
boy to an assessment centre. Here he was 
examined by a Psychiatrist, who found his 
behaviour to be "as expected in most child 
ren of his age range", and recommended a 
return to home. 

The social worker concerned wanted to 
take him home, but the RUC, who have a 
direct information flow from the social 
services, objected and charged the boy 
with "Gross Indecency" They fought 
bail, so he was still held in the centre. 

To forestall the RUC, the social worker 
brought a civil case (on the same day as 
the RUC's criminal case) asking for a 'Fit 
Person Order', which would give the Social 
Services responsibility as a parent. The 
social worker maintained in court that 
they would allow the boy to return home. 

The mother has been on her own ever 
since. She has been confined to a wheel- 
chair for 14 years with multiple-sclerosis. 
Her husband left her shortly after the 
boy's birth, so as an only child he has 
taken care of her all of his life — giving her 
baths, running messages etc. 

Some of the local community have threat- 
ened the boy, should he return. The 
parochialism, fear and guilt of sexuality 
has forced some to be violent in their 
reaction. Because of this threat, the boy 
is still held in the centre. The mother 

cont. on back page . . . 

prison report 


The initial 28-day 'breathing space', since 
the Hunger Syrike ended, is over. All pri- 
soners in Long Kesh now wear their own 
clothes, though there is controversy still 
about what the screws decide to let in. 
One day a navy jacket is allowed in, the 
next it's not 


But the real problem now is work. In 
Armagh, where the women have always 
worn their own clothes, Mareaid Farrell 
put forward the names of 4 'Volunteers' 
to do wing maintenance. Scott, the gover- 
nor, refused to accept them. He soon ann- 
ounced his own choice of those who'd do 
that work - it was the same 4 women ! 
Eilis O'Connor, just released, explained 
that he takes fits of not recognising Mare- 
aid Farrell. 


In the H-Blocks, the first 36 men to start 
work were involved in cleaning and main- 
taining their wings. But the rest of the 
prisoners, in groups of ten, were invited to) 
take part in an 'assessment process' where I 
work would be allocated. After the exper- 
ience of the first 10, the rest decided not 
to take further part. 


The prisoners have repeatedly suggested a 
wide variety of work and education acc- 
eptable to them, but the authorities have 
offered nothing new. A statement last 
week said, 'To the prisoners it is clear that 
the British are attemtping to use these 36 
men to cause dissension among the rest of 
us who are prepared to engage in exactly 
the same form of work, but who are still 
being punished for 'refusing to work' \ 


Marian Clegg has reportedly contracted 
T.B. in Armagh prison. She has been mov- 
ed to the prison hospital, whose facilities 
are inadequate for even the common cold. . 
It is vital that Marian is moved to an out- 
side hospital for immediate treatment, J 
and not left to deteriorate like Pauline Mc 4 
Laughlin, or the. Price Sisters. 1 


The School 

No peace to be shattered - 
Preserve the dusty relics 
of Disease under the 
Hard Glass Dome. 
No freedom, no choice. 
Orders, demands, a voice 
from the bitch "at the top." 
"We tell you what to feel 
Without us, you're not real. 
We've had it done to us 
Look — see 
There's no real me. 
I'm just a functioning 
machine order - taker 

taker " 

- Breakdown in aparatus - 

Sabotage suspected - 

Recently published is a pamphlet by 
Gerry McCrory, 'Authority Has No Tears' 
- Gerry is presently an inmate of Long 
Kesh. He has political status. He wrote 
the pamphlet between 1977-80, and 
silk-screened his own graphics for it, alonj 
with the help of other prisoners. The 
pamphlet consists of one large poem, 
which appears to be a quite personal anal- 
ysis of today's society. Related of course 
to Ireland, but the reader can understand 
that it could have been anywhere. 
In poetic form Gerry manages to give a 
criticism of modern-day issues like wom- 
en's rights, the family, sectarianism and 
the cops and the State. Although it takes 
a lot of concentration to understand the 
poem fully, it is well worth it, if just to 
get an understanding of what many pris- 
oners are thinking. 

It costs 40p and is available from 'Just 
Books', 7 Winetavern Street, Belfast 


The RUC's attempted frame-up of James 
Rafferty fell apart 2 weeks ago. Their two 
star witnesses, neighbours of Rafferty, ad- 
mitted they were pressurised into giving 
i identification evidence against him by the 
RUC. One week later Rafferty was freed. 
Four RUC officers are currently awaiting 
trial for assault against Rafferty back in 
'76, when he was tortured in Omagh Barr- 
acks. The RUC's latest apparent bungling 
might reflect a deal whereby if they let 
Rafferty go, the officers, too, might get 

As the coming RUC trial will be the first 
of its kind, we patiently await ULSTER 
justice ! 

l6Mys ft* azuF-mmMTioN! 

Brixton gays and Irish gays in London were among the many 
banners on the 300 strong Troops out delegation to Belfast on 
August 8/9th. One of the reasons for a gay presence on the delegat- 
ion was to show support for the most oppressed section of gays in 
Ireland - those under army occupation. It is bad enough facing the 
outright hostility of the churches without the added brutality of 
the state forces dominating every aspect of your life. 

Throughout Ireland gay people are denied the right to exist. We are told at 
school how sinful and evil we are. The mass media subjects us to insults and 
abuse, constantly pressurising us to think and behave in heterosexual terms. 
We are disowned by our families and friends. Homosexuality, like contracept- 
ion, abortion and divorce, has very little place in the established code of 
morality. The medical profession attempts to treat us with hormones or 
aversion therapy, with disasterous results. In the eyes of the law we are crim- 
inals, deserving of long prison sentences. Is it any wonder that so many gays 
end up committing suicide? 

A number of gay groups have been set up in Ireland over the past few years. 
They have endeavoured to relieve the isolation of homosexuals and to chall- 
enge the institutions which oppress us. David Norris brought a case against 
the Southern government last year on the grounds that its anti-gay laws were 
unconstitutional. Typically, the case was lost, but at least the subject was 
brought out into the open. In the North, Jeff Dudgeon, from the Northern 
Ireland Gay Rights Association, took the Westminster government before 
the European Court of Human Rights to force it to extend law reform to 
Northern Ireland. The court found against Westminster, but the wrath of Ian 
Paisley and the connivance of Cardinal O Fiaich ensured that Ulster would be 
saved from sodomy. 

The failure of these cases raises the question of the usefulness of demanding 
reforms from the state. NIGRA, by recognising Westminster's alleged right 
to legislate for six counties of IreJond, has completely alienated itself from 
most nationalist homosexuals. It has only shown them contempt by stating 
that the British army ought to remain on the streets and by not questioning 
the whole nature of Unionist misnjle. 

Law reform was possible in England and Wales during the '60's because it 
was a time of economic growth. There was a boom in industry, and the state 
had enough confidence to ease its inherent repression. Throughout the west- 
ern world a Womens movement as well as a gay movement began to question 
the whole sexist, patriarchal system. The role of religion, the family, the 
media - as a means of preserving power and priviledge - came under scrut- 
iny. Abortion and homosexual law reform became symbols of that era. 
But during the '70's the tide began to turn. The economic boom gave way to 
stagnation. The state responded to progressive demands with more repression 
and the family and religion, as traditional methods of social control, were 
qiven a new lease of life. 

The nuclear family operates as a mini-state - a state within a state. The 
father maintains his power often through violence. As well as physical violen- 
ce he often uses emotional blackmail. Because women are dependant on men 
they are forced to satisfy mens needs before their own* A womans role is to 
be locked up in a box called "home" performing domestic service, cooking, 
cleaning, raising "his childereriT She is expected to look attractive to him and 
satisfy his sexual desires. The state behaves as a father figure to many of us - 
it gives us money to survive one day and plastic bullets the next. 
Religion serves as a tool of the ruling class in propping up this system. By 
telling women to obey their husbands and slaves to love their masters, the 
patriarchal, class nature of society remains intact. If sexuality weren't restric- 
ted to husband and wife, if women had control over their bodies, their lives, 
they would be on the road to economic independance and patriarchy would' 
begin to lose it's grip. The "holy family" serves the ruling class (A) as a 
consumer unit and (B) by reproducing more workers to be exploited. 
Gay people represent a threat to the "moral fabric" of society. This is why 
we are rejected by our families, harassed by the state, ridiculed by the media, 
discriminated against at work and beaten up by queerbashers. Law reform 
doesn't get to the root of the problem - it merely makes cosmetic changes 
to the ugly face of patriarchy. It facilitates the development of a commercial 
gay scene whose only function is to exploit us. 

British imperialism works hand in hand with the churches to keep the Irish 
working class on it's knees, women in the kitchen and gays in the closet. 
Gay liberation is therefore about the destruction of patriarchy, of capitalism 
and of imperialist domination. For this reason sexual politics has to be 
central to the anti-imperialist revolution. That is why we say GAYS FOR 

m 1 


- Padraig 0 Flaithimh and Robin Gibson.- 


ast Saturday saw the opening of the 
'A" Centre in Long Lane, of North 
Jtreet in the City centre. 

On the bill for the day were several bands, 
. cafe, books n' badges, a film ( The life of 
Irian - previously banned by the City 
:ouncil and publically denounced by the 

Tie opening of the building provides the 
ipportunity for a breakthrough in Belfast, 
oung people seeing little else to do than tc 
e ripped off by the abundant "amusement 
rcades',' record shops and the like. It is 
ioped that participation between those 
sing the building will be the key to future 
evelopments - Unfortunately such desires 
/ere not respected by the "forces of law & 
rder" who maintained a presence outside 
he building throughout the day...what a 
hame it would be if people were to be 
rawn away from the usual rip-off 
nerchants who have a stranglehold on all 
orms of so-called entertainment in the City. 

Perhaps not surprisingly, most of those 
attracted to the centre were punks, 
ly drawn by the circled "A" used as an 
emblem for the centre. Should be interest- 
ing to see if any real affinity with anarchist 
practise develops in the days ahead. 
But don't think that the building was 
created for the exclusive use of punks.. .it 
is there for anyone who wants to contribr 
ute to the general happenings. 
The building itself is spacious, with differ- 
ent activities going on simeltaneously, 
meaning that people could wander around 
and decide what they wanted to do, or 
where they wanted to be. 
It is hoped that future developments will 
provide more than enough stimulous, 
without punks feeling the need to resort to 
sniffin' glue for "kicks," and for us all to be 
able to enjoy ourselves without feeling the 
need to artificially enduce feelings of 

In the future we would like the present 

activities extended to include theatre, 
discussion, possibly craft workshops, 
times devoted to themes such as 
culture and oppression, reggae, feminism, 
etc etc.. .but above all the emphasis will be 
on participation from all those who use 
the building. Difficult but not impossible 
to make a break from the steriotyped 
passive consumption scene and to move on 
to greater things. 

Anyone with ideas, skills, crafts etc which 
they would like to put into practise should 
contact: "A" CENTRE c/o Just Books, 
7,Winetavern St, Belfast 1. Ph: 25426. 


It is 1 1am on a Saturday morning. We arrive at a 
squatted hotel, by a canal, in one of the most excl- 
usive areas of Amsterdam. Already 40 or 50 colour- 
fully dressed squatters have gathered there. A group 
of people, 3 men and 2 women, want to squat a 
house, and the rest of us have come to help. People 
are loading chairs, tables and material for barracades 
onto a van. The sun is shining. 

There is a last minute hitch, the house we are going to take 
is on a busy shopping street, and we have just discovered 
that a strange event, a mass jogging marathon, will be passing 
the house all day. Probably the street will be crowded with 
police and spectators. 

We decide to try it anyway and set off, about 70 of us by 
now, to the empty house a few streets away. Sure enough, 
the street is crowded, and police are directing traffic. We 
line up in front of the door, all 70 of us, and pretend to 
watch the joggers, clapping and cheering as loud as we can. 
The police smile back at us , suspecting nothing. 

Behind our backs, Hans is smashing the two Yale locks with 
a hammer and chisel. He is nervous, and it seems to take ages 
Then suddenly the door is open and people are rushing in. 
The van pulls up and a chain of people pass the gear through 
the door. The door is shut, and barricaded, then comes the 
loud banging of hammers, as bedsprings are nailed across the 
windows. A big banner flaps out from the roof - One more 
house has been liberated! 

That was the first squat of the day, by evening we have succ- 
essfully taken four - If the house is empty and unfurnished, 
and not rented to anyone, or being redecorated, the police 
cannot legally evict you — Unless they can find out your 
name. A strange law! We barricade every house securely — so 
that the police or landlords' men cannot get in within the 
time it takes to call out the local squatters to defend it. In a 
few months a new law will make it much more difficult to 

The following Tuesday there is an eviction at the Groenburig 
ival, we have been expecting it, rumours have gone out that 
the special riot police have been seen. Informers have told us 
that they will come at dawn. The inhabitants of the house 
have barricaded it with steel plates, and bars, wire mesh, trap 
doors, bedsprings, barbed wire etc - They know that they 
cannot hold the house - the idea is to make the eviction as 
difficult as possible. 

At 4am they send out a general alarm - through the squatt- 
ers telephone network (those without phones are knocked 
up out of bed). Hundreds of sleepy eyed squatters. start arriv- 
ing, and barricade the area, overturning cars, tearing up the 

At 5:30am, 1000 riot police-arrive, in armoured trucks, 
complete with dogs, riot gear, tear gas, motorbikes, horses, 
bulldozers and helicopters. The barricades are set alight and 
abandoned as the police smash through. But it takes them 
three hours to break into the house, by that time large crow- 
ds have gathered and are held back by the riot police. Dozens 
of police in disguise mingle amoungst the crowds, but small 
groups, especially the Anarchists roam around stabbing the 
tyres of the police vans and smashing windows. That night 
we march around the city barricading streets, chasing police 
cars and smashing windows of banks and speculators. The 
house is lost, but the next day 2 more are squatted... 
Squatting in Amsterdam is now a major problem for the auth 
orities. 50,000 people are in need of housing, there are 
about 10,000 squatters, The main motive is to get a roof 
over your head, but it is more than that. The squatters are 
a strong community, against authority and control of all 
sorts. They have their own squatted pubs and cafes and 
cinemas, their own illegal radio (done one evening a week 
by an Anarchist group, one evening a week by women,etc.) 
their own theatre, music groups and newspapers from 
various areas, Squatters aid groups,squatters depots etc. All this 
activity is done quite voluntarily br various groups living 
together in squatted houses. Most of the squatters are in 
council houses but in the past few years about 300 houses 
in the main 'speculation' area of the city centre have been 
taken. Many of them are huge monumental canal houses, 
worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Also empty officies, 
factories, schools, churches, a swimming pool and even an 
old prison have been squatted! The squatters transform these 
buildings, mainly into living space, paying out of their own 
pockets. There is a voluntary levy of about £1 a month, 
which is used mainly for printing costs. 

Contrary to the newspaper reports, squatting is not highlv 
organised. The city is divided up into areas, in which the 
squatters organise new squats and actions, which are discuss 
ed at meetings, but nobody is ordered in any way by any 
squatters authority, because no authority (or any infilitrating 
political parties) are accepted. There is a strong Anarchist and 
feminist current within the squatters movement. 
The squatting within the city, and the increasingly radical 
resistance of squatters and their supporters, has led to the 
passing of a new law in the Dutch parliament, prohibiting 
squatting, which will come into operation by the end of this 
year. In order to contain the expected riots the occupants of 
the old squats will be given one year to find new housing, 
which of course does not exist. Squatting will certainly go on 
in Amsterdam, but the atmosphere is growing more tense by 
the day. 

From Tulips' in Amsterdam 


"Severe sentences demonstrate the 
community's rejection of drug taking," 

said the Judge at Belfast's Magistrate 
Court as he passed a sentence of 3 years on 
someone unfortunate enough to get busted 
for cannabis possession. 
But the "community" (whatever that means) 
doesn't reject drug- taking. fact, society 
exists on drugs of one sort or another. What the 
Judge was trying to hide was his total compliance 
with the wishes of the Drug Squad and in 
particular their big chief - George McBride - 
who recently shed tears because "...the 
likelihood of being given a custodial 
sentence for drug taking is remote" So 
severe sentences do notdemonstrate the commun- 
ity's rejection of drug-taking — but merely the 
fears and frustrations of the DS who are helping 
to create the problem in the first place. And 
"severe sentences" are sure to follow when those 
caught are "unco-operative", who don't 
implicate others ( usually their friends). 

At a recent conference in Dublin on the 
Irish economy a grim future was predicted 
for all. The conference was organised by 
the Economic and Social Research Instit- 
ute (ESR I) whose basic function is to 
carry out research into various aspects of 
the Irish Economy and make recommend- 
ations to the government. The ESR I is 
supposedly independent and its independ- 
ence was stressed in the Taoiseach's speech 
to the conference. But basically it's only 
interested in making capitalism work more 
efficiently. It never challenges the basis of 
capitalism and its exploitative nature. But 
even for an institute such as this the main 
conclusion of the conference was that 
there will be little change in living stand- 
ards over the next decade, and poverty anc 
and hardship will be experienced by many. 

There was also a lot of talk about unem- 
ployment. This is not surprising given that 
at the end of September the number of 
people officially unemployed was 131,800 
This marked an increase of 3,000 over the 
figure for August and is the largest month- 
ly rise in nearly a year. 
At the conference it was predicted that by 
1990 unemployment could be running at 
a rate of 25% with 300,000 on the dole. 
These people will be expected to live on 
the poverty line. As was pointed out in the 
last Outta Control, inflation is now runn- 
ing at 20%. The recent increase of 3% in 
the dole did not compensate for this at all. 

Unempolyment poses a real threat to the 
Irish state (and other states too). Fitzger- 
ald recognized this in his speech to .the 
conference when he said that 'endemic 
unemployment will seriously disturb the 
stability of our society' To him and his 
government it is vital that the unemploy- 
ment problem is dealt with. 
It seems that the old solution to the prob- 
lem, emigration, is now being used as a 
safety valve. The 1981 census has revealed 
that emigration has been increasing since 

Judges act accordingly when you don't play their 
game.. ..hence 3 years for cannabis. (This I 
particular case also showed the Judges attitude 
towards the solicitor - A Long Kesh graduate 
suspected by the RUC of aiding the mass break- 
out of Republicans earlier this year. Just how 
severe the Judge was can be seen when it is 
compared to another case the same week when a 
UVF man got what could be a seven year 
sentence for the murder of six people.. ..he'll be 
out in 1988 if he remains a "Free Presbyterian"!! 
The media treatment of it all was as expected... 
the "Irish News" (via Mr Tom Samways, well 
known for his alcohol drug abuse) equated drug 
taking with every heineous crime imaginable.... 
whiJe the "Belfast Telegraph went to great lengths 
to broadcast the wisdom of DS McBride and 
threw in all the cannabis horror stories that some 
obscure US Harvard researcher could think up. 
How wrong can they be! Cannabis is not 
addictive (to say it leads on to HeroinlcTdiction 
because 99-9% of heroin addicts say they started 
on cannabis contains as much common sense as 
saying every alcoholic started on milk). 
....It is not dangerous. It is a mild relaxant which 
ean help blot out the grind of Belfast life and 
leads our thought process towards more creative 
and imaginative avenues. No wonder the Courts, 
the police, the media get hysterical, they are 
reknowned for neither their imagination nor 
their creativity. 

But the unemployed can become a threat 
to the state itself (as Fitzgerald recognized) 
and need to be controlled. This explains, 
to a large extent, why the new government 
are continuing to recruit the 2,000 cops 
which the last government claimed were 
badly needed. The present government 
have put a ban on any new recruitment to 
the public service except for these cops. 
This helps to emphasis their importance. 

As the unemployment problem is getting 
worse people are begining to realise the 
necessity of fighting back. For this reason 
the Dublin Unemployment Action Group 
has been set up. The group is made up of 
unemployed people themselves, and rec- 
ognises the importance of them taking up 
the fight. 

The group wants to end the situation 
where unemployed people are expected to 
live on the poverty line. It hopes to start a 
campaign for free buses for those on the 
dole, and wants the Electricity Supply 
Board's workers to refuse to cut off those 
who cannot afford to pay their bills 
because they are on the dole. Also the 
group want to provide some kind of cheap 
entertainment for the unemployed by 
holding gigs etc. It also runs an informat- 
ion service for those claiming benefits. 
In the speechs at the conference there was 
a lot of talk about pay restraint and incre- 
ased taxation. Workers are being asked to 
make sacrifices and accept a lower stand- 
ard of living to solve a problem which has 
been created by the bosses and the govern- 

There has also been talk about early retire- 
ment for those in the civil service. It is 
reckoned that this scheme could result in 
the creation of an extra 10,000 jobs in 
1982. This does not come near the 17,000 
that will be needed every year between n 
now and 1991 if unemployment is not to 
rise ANY FURTHER. Anyway, retired 
and old people get a raw deal in this soc- 
iety. They are left to fend for themselves 
and survive on the pitance of a pension. 

com. from front page . . . 
wants to move to another area to enable 
him to return, but her landlord, the Hous- 
ing Executive, is reluctant to help. They 
say her present house was adapted for her 
at great cost, and another one is too 

Another example of the insensitivity of 
Belfasts establishment (and thats putting 
it mildly) was the refusal, until the repeat- 
ed and prolonged appeals by the boys 
solicitor succeeded, to move the court to 
a ground floor. The mother had been 
unable to attend the first three preliminary 
hearings because of this. 

The RUC has made sure it was' seen to 
help' the local community by charging a 
15 year old boy. This was especially imp- 
ortant in an area where the local people 
normally see the RUC as oppressors. 
Those who have threatened this boy and 
his mother are the ones who are sexually 
distorted. Such a violent, puritanical and 
neurotic reaction to sexuality is an indicat- 
ion of the success of the Christian 

fair $UtsKo>\... 

"Civilian searchers in Belfast's central 
commercial zone have recieved instructions 
from the RUC not to allow young mods 
into the city centre. 

In recent weeks, young mods, individually 
or in groups have been wondering around 
the town, meeting eachother and growing 
in numbers to 200 plus. A big problem 
for the RUC and their efforts to keep the 
large store owners happy, and to ensure 
that the "right sort" of consumers can 
consume without having to think. 
Of course there have been a lot of inter- 
gang feuds which have scared a lot of 
people ... but it is difficult to justify the 
"they should be locked up attitude" which 
most people immediately adopt, which 
serves to give strength to the RUC'S 
heavy hands. Examples of toxteth and 
Brixton show that peoples needs only 
get noticed when the frustration of day to 
day drudgery becomes visible to all. 
Maybe the newly opened "A" Centre in 
Long Lane will provide a space for young 
people to use their time constructively. 
The "legal" situation with "civilian" 
searchers is that if you permitt them to 
search you they have no right to deny you 
access to the city centre. ...however it looks 
as if this is changing fast, and it is becominc 
more apparent that the city, and particul- 
ar the fenced off commercial zone does 
not belong to us. 


Sold with Outta Control lOp (outside Ireland I5p) 



equal civil rights, may be good 
demands, but true emancipation begins neither at the 
polls, nor in courts. It begins in woman's soul. History 
tells us that every oppressed class gained true liberation 
from its masters through its own efforts. It is necessary 
that woman learn that lesson, that she realise that her 
freedom will reach as far as her power to achieve her 
freedom reaches. EMMA GOLDMAN 1911 

After the success of Geoff Dudgeon's case in 
Strasbourg for homosexual law reform last 
fortnight yet another liberalisation of social 
legislation will have to be extended to 
Northern Ireland, following reform of the 
divorce and domestic violence laws, even 
if the Queen of England did forget to ment- 
ion it in her speech. The Strasbourg case has 
added a new dimension to the whole question 
of abortion here. It was claimed that as 
citizen of the United Kingdom a gay person 
was denied the same rights as gays living in 
the rest of the U.K. The parallel with abortion 
is obvious. A woman with an unwanted 
pregnancy cannot have an abortion here 
except in the most extreme of cases, be she 
certified or pleading insanity, the foetus is 
genetically malformed, she has had german 
measles or been in contact with them early 
in pregnancy or she is likely to die if she 
continues with the pregnancy. Not that 
abortion can be obtained on demand in 
Britain either but the passing of the 1967 
Abortion Act has enabled women to obtain 
abortion for social reasons either on the 
National Health Service or through one of 
the charitable clinics. 
The Northern Ireland Abortion Campaign 
has been orgainising for the last two years 
to have the 1967 Abortion Act extended 
to Northern Ireland as a minimum require- 
ment in its fight for abortion on demand. 
Legalising abortion is seen as the only obvious 
and rational course of action in the short 
term.. the present socio-religious climate 
in Ireland we are not going to get anything 
better for sure! As part of the Northern 
Ireland Abortion Campaign, two women 
from Gaining Ground with the support of 
Irish sisters in Britain and here, ALRA and 
NAC, posted a coat hanger and an information 
card printed with an airline ticket, to every 
M.P. explaining that there were two ways in 
which women in Northern Ireland could 
obtain an abortion-on the backstreet risking 
sterility and death or by paying for a private 
abortion in England and the cost of the fare 
(up to £200) in one of the charitable clinics. 
Six hundred and thirty odd cost hangers 
(some very odd battered specimans) achieved 
the impact that they were designed for— that 
M.P.s of which a majority are pro-choice, 
should take notice of the fact that up to 
3,000 women this year will travel to England 
for abortions and those who cannot afford 
to will resort to the backstreets. 

Six of the envelopes were given to Jo 
Richardson, a prominent pro-choice M.P., 
to be delivered personally to the top dogs- 
Thatcher, Foot, Prior, Concannon and the 
Messrs. Paisley and Powell. Jo Richardson 
has pledged support to the campaign and 
another pro-choice M.P., Bob Crier attempted 
to raise a supplementary question during the 
debate on Northern Ireland that day. It 
should now be raised in this current session. 

To have the law extended to Northern Ireland, 
the Northern Ireland Abortion Campaign is 
going to have to concentrate on British M.P.s. 
As far as our lot is concerned it is a dead loss. 
Opposition to any progressive social legislation 
has always been inevitable. The late M.P. 
for Fermanagh/South Tyrone, Frank Maguire, 
flew in to London specially to vote 
on the four or five occasions during his time 
against the 67 Act and any progressive amend- 
ments to it-so much for an abstentionist 
policy, he was well capable of accepting 
Westminster when it suited him, and although 
Jim Kilfedder is the only Northern Irish M.P. 
with an impeccable record on abortion he 
may well say one thing privately and another 
publicly ( as what appears to have been the 
case over homosexuality law reform) or may 
even trade in his vote for some concession on 
"Ulster's security". 
Straight press coverage in Northern 
Ireland particulary was good although 
what with the Beeb with their rent a 
speech demands at half and hours notice 
and the Belfast Telegraph, after breaking 
the embargo date (will they be receiving 
oress statements in future?) being 
more concerned in creating scandal 
and rows between British Airways and 
the Northern Ireland Abortion Campaign 
for using a British Airways ticket on 
the information sent to M.P.s, as one 
of the ways in which women travel 
to England (and with the closing of 
the Liverpool ferry just about the only 
way). Something has to be said about 
the persistent harassment of women in 
the N.I.A.C. over this issue-are they 
that low on stories? However the 
following day they did come out in 
favour of abortion law reform in their 
editorial plus a "much more effective 
programme of sex education in the 
schools, together with ready availability 
of contraceptives and greater financial 
assistance for mothers who decide to 

keep their babies". - a significant step 
outwards when one considers the taboo 
surrounding the subject less than five 
years ago. Views have changed and 
the subject is being discussed more and 
more openly. There are thousands of 
women in Ireland who have experienced 
that uphill struggle to get an abortion. 
Some women, like Lottie Hutton for 
example, have died horrific deaths 
after botched abortions. The arguments 
of LIFE and SPUC are not going to 
be strong enough to maintain the ban 
on abortion in Northern Ireland now 
that the ignorance is being dispelled. 
Both the Abortion Law Reform 
Association and the National Abortion 
Campaign in London were tremendous 
in their support of the action. Both 
organisations have fairly recently 
included Northern Ireland in their 
aims and will support us in any future 
action that we decide to do. Added to 
this is a growing Irishwomens Support 
Group in London which is arranging 
help/support/accomodation for 
women from both North and South 
when they go to London for an 

Whilst a change in the law will not 
change people's opinions, especially in 
the medical profession, —it may for 
instance, prove impossible to obtain 
an abortion on the NHS outside of 
Belfast-it will allow the charitable 
clinics to operate, it will mean that 
thousands of Northern and Southern 
Irish women coming north, will not 
have to make the often traumatic 
journey to England and in more 
enlightened conditions, we would hope 
that the whole question of abortion on 
demand, contraception, sexuality, 
childcare and single parenthood will be 
discussed and recognised as valid social 

Since we have come home there has 
been a letter from the Pro- Abortion 
Labour lobby (a group of M.P.s) who 
have pledged their support to the 


The Dunne family have been in the 
news a lot recently, with all the 
publicity surrounding the kidnapping 
and the dramatic release. Especially 
intriuging were the stories about the 
half million pounds that the police 
kept taking away. While you may 
have sympathy with any family in 
such a situation, it is instructive to 
look behind the headlines, at the 
Dunne family and the empire that 
they have built up, to the point where 
they can raise half a million pounds 
at such short notice. 
The Dunnes are selfmade millionaires. 
The father started in a small way, 
and eventually through various means 
built up a chain of stores rivalling, 
British chains like Littlewoods, and 
Marks and Spencers, for markets in 
Ireland. They sell products cheaper 
than many other retail outlets, and 
have shares in many of the new big 
shopping precincts opening all over 
Ireland. It is only though in the last 
few years that they have ventured 
into the north. 

Like all good businesses though thay 
have not got to where they are now 
by running charities, they have built 
up a reputation for hardheadedness, 
in their dealings, and nnnp mnw S o 
than in the matter of employees. 

The Dunnes like to run things their 
way and new staff soon learn that 
what Dunnes say goes. One thing 
they say categorically is that joining a 
union is not on, and mention of 
it is likely to result in the sack. Work 
in shops has never been the best paid 
or the best conditions. Shop workers 
particulary in the lower levels i.e. on 
the floor or at registers are nearly 
always women. The work while not 
being dirty, is largely unskilled and 
very badly paid, this often means a 
high turnover in staff though with 
unemployment running as high as it 
is now most shop workers are holding 
on to their jobs no matter what the 

conditions. Shops also employ a 
great deal of part-time workers again 
nearly all women, and these workers 
are perhaps the worst off of all in 
terms of conditions and benefits. In 
all shops most of the managerial 
staff are men and few women ever 
find themselves promoted from the 
shopfloor. Unionisation among shop 
workers is very poor, often because 
the workers are fragmented, and also 
because of the attitude of employers, 
in particular the big chains, women 
don't join out of fear. Consequently 
most of them do not possess even the 
limited protection afforded by union 

The new Dunnes store in North St is 
a case in point. The women there 
have complained of the conditions the 
they are forced to work in, this 
includes few breaks, and hard work 
as the place is not well staffed - a 
typical Dunne cost cutting move. As 
all of these women need their job and 
even the poor money it brings they 
are forced to put up with these 
conditions. But Dunnes aren't the 
only people in town to take a dislike 
to the union. C&A also don't allow 
the union in their premises, like 
Marks and Spencers next door (who 
don't exactly ban the union but are 
not happy about it) they argue that 
they pay their workers above the 
union rates and so their is no need for 
complaint. Woolworths hold the same 
view, all these stores try to promote 
a family atmosphere in their shops, 
with the personnel managers acting as 
big daddies there to solve the childrens 
problems. As we all know though a 
good way to keep the workers in 
their place is to make them act as 
individuals, in unity lies strengh and so 
they have to do everything they cani 
to make sure that it can't exist, as 
usual its the women workers who 
suffer, and the bosses who live off the 

"Monday 1st - Started the New Year 
right did the washing, had to, the 
laundry basket is not a bottomless pit. 
Don't know how I found the strength 
to tackle the washing after grappling 
with a two stone, very determined 
Katie who seems to have half a dozen 
legs and four or five arms. She'd 
rather spend the whole day in a 
stinking nappy than go through the 
ordeal of a wash. " 

So beginsJane Bennett's diary of one 
year than forms the basis of Diane 
Harpwood's new novel "Tea and 
Tranquilisers", just published by 
Virago. Jane is married with two 
small children, and a very traditional 
husband, who is totally helpless when 
it comes to doing anything in the 
house. Jane and her family had to 
leave the north of England, and her 
family and friends when David found 
work in the south. Now resigned to 
spending a good deal of the rest of 
her life here she keeps a diary to stop 
her from going mad. In it she charts 
the day to day existence of a house- 
wife coping with small children and 
with very little money - a constant 
source of friction between her and 
her husband. In the diary she describ- 
es with great feeling the utter mono- 
tony of her life Everyday is the same 
to such an extent that picking her 
older daughter up from school 
becomes the high point of her days. 

Later in the book David gets a better 
job with more money and the financi- 
al problems are lessesed, but this 
doesn't change Jane's life that much. 
Diane Harpwood hascaptured well 
the existence of many young mothers 
and through the lives of the other 
women who live in the same estate 
as Jane has given us a picture of 
women's lives. The book is often very 
funny as Jane surveys her life with a 
great deal of wit, but there are also 
very sad moments, which are handled 
in a realistic and not a sentimental 
way. Diane Harpwood has denied 
that the book is in any way auto- 
biographical, or that she is in any 
way in the situation that Jane is in, 
who she describes as 'a loser'. I find 
it hard to believe that anyone could 
write so convincingly had they in 
some ways experienced some otj the 
trials of Jane. 

A book well woth reading. It costs 
£2.95, and is available from Just 
Books, 7 Winetavern Street, Belfast. 

Towards the end of the speeches at 
the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament 
march and rally in London on October 
24th, we were told that the last of the 
march was entering Hyde Park. It had 
taken over five hours for the 250,000 
people to march the three quarters of 
a mile from Victoria Embankment and 
even then the police had had to open 
up a second route in the afternoon 
to accomodate all the marchers. People 
had arrived from everywhere, from as 
far away as Shetland and Northern 
Ireland, from all sorts of backgrounds, 
groups, classes as the amazing banners 
proclaimed.... mother and toddler 
groups, first generation CNDers 
singing the golden oldies, trade union- 
ists, anarchists, lots of feminists in 
carnival originals of purple and green 
and CND groups from all and every- 

Ann Petit from the Women's Peace Camp 
also spoke. She was very repetitive and it was 
a shame that she sounded like Pam Ayres 
which led the group we were surrounded by 
to ridicule her, which belied the achievements 
that she and the fifty people, mostly women 
and several babies had made over the previous 
month. They had all walked from Wales to 
Greenham Common in Berkshire, a journey 
which had taken ten days. For many of them 
it had been their first taste of public protest. 
Greenham Common is the site where the 
first batch of Cruise missiles will be delivered 
in 1983. The women had chained themseves, 
suffragette style, to the fence at Greenham 
Common in an attempt to get a television 
debate going between them and the govern- 
ment, unsuccessful but they did get the local 
radio to interview them. The women have set 
up camp at Greenham Common, in tents at 
the moment, although they are hoping for 
caravans to come down and either join them 
or be left for them to live in, and for people 

Everybody seemed to be under the impression 
that there was going to be a lot "on" when 
we reached Hyde Park, particulary lots of 
live music. But in the event none of the 
groups had been allowed to play inside the 
park— police orders-although the Jam set 
up at the Park gates as we all filed through 
to the street theatre and the street pedlars 
of badges, newspapers and leaflets. What 
should and could have been a dynamic 
afternoon dwindled in the end to applause 
or otherwise for the many speakers. 

The main theme of most of the speeches was 
of organising, of reaching out to the apathetic 
masses and giving them a good shake before 
they slip into eternal sleep during world war 
three. Although there were big cheers for 
Tony Benn and E.P.Thompson, they didn't 
manage more than the usual rhetoric and to 
our minds the best speaker of the day was 
Petra Kelly, a libertarian and feminist from 
West Germany who told of the difficulties 
of organising in an occupied country which 
was also first on the hit list. She spoke of the 
non violence of Martin Luther King and of 
Gandhi, of the strength and power of their 
message in contrast to the insane and corrupt 
power of the warmongering patriarchy. 

to move in onto the Common in protest and 
commute from there. The women had spoken 
at meetings all over the country and had 
marched for four days from the Common 
to London to join up with the CND march. 

Ann Petit's speech emphasized the importance 
of grass roots support and activity. The CND 
march was an amazing show of support but 
how many of those quarter of a million 
people will spread the message in the 
community, in the shops, factories, pubs and 
streets where they came from? The straight 
media certainly didn't think it deserved a great 
deal of comment, particulary the telly. CND 
itself tends to put forward an apolitical image 
and channel people's energy and enthusiasm 
into meetings, resolutions and lobbyings of 
various political and religious dignatories. 
This didn't work in the sixties and won't 
work todayand with the whittling down of 
civil liberties, the experience gained by the 
State in Ireland and during the recent rioting 
in Britain means tougher opposition to 
any direct action taken in the future., for a 
campaign to disarm nuclear weapons is not 
an apolitical campaign, it is a rejection of 
a state which is preparing for war, and that 
total disarmament a revolutionary action. 


Deny District Council and their 
equivalent in Cork, have declared 
their areas "nuclear free zones".... 
a novel decision though radiation 
will hardly stop at the council 
boundary and it won't stop the 
mining companies if they find 
their uranium samples to be 
"satisfactory" (ie: profitable)... 
nor will it stop the Deny air base 
being used as a link in the nuclear 
bombing chain. 

But an interesting decision none the less. 
Meanwhile a member of the Unionist 
Party Executive wants cruise missiles 
to be stationed in "Ulster". (Cruise 
missiles are the gift of Reagan and Co. 
to his western allies. that nuclear 
war can be fought out in Europe with- 
out harming the USA). 

The Unionists feel that cruise missiles 
will bring money, jobs and strengthen 
their somewhat shaky political position. 
Fools, undoubtedly, but dangerous ones 
....and its people like them who are 
making the nuclear decisions in Britain, 
America and Russia. And it is such fools 
who have given the go-ahead for the 
huge nuclear underground complex 
being built at this moment in South 
Armagh near Forkhill. Daily— huge 
mahogany beams are being flown in 
by helicopter to strengthen the under- 
ground structure. Whether it will house 
nuclear missiles or merely serve as a 
hide out for top military and bureau- 
crats is as yet unknown. Its an official 

We were distressed to hear of the 
death of our friend and comrade 
Sylvia Jeffares who was knocked 
down and killed two weeks ago on 
her bike in London (Sunday 25th 
October), whilst visiting her friend 
in Broadmoor. We remember Sylvia 
for so many reasons, her expressive- 
ness and sensitivity, her resistance 
to authority with its constraints 
and its conventions and her interest 
in Ireland over the last ten years and 
her support for the women in 
Armagh and prisoners in England. 
Our sympathy to all her friends 
and her daughter Eileen Rose. 



In September a UDR man was shot at 
lunchtime outside a factory in West 
Belfast - this is one woman's account 
of that day. 

7 am and the day starts as usual with 
the baby crying, who needs an alarm 
clock? Within minutes Karen who is 
three is also up and ready to go. I 
can't take on two at the same time, get 
up, go down and put the kettle on. Its 
really cold these mornings. Mike 
follows like an extra from nights of 
the living dead, but manages to hold 
the baby still so that not only can I 
make the breakfast, but his lunch as 

Finally everyone fed, and Mike leaves. 
The prisoner of Zenda stays behind 
with her two torturers, at the rate they 
are going they'll be read'y for Castle- 
reagh in no time. Make an attempt at 
cleaning up, and refereeing the battle 
at the same time - impossible. Decide 
to go out to the shops, not to buy 
anything its too near the end of the 
week but it does break the monotony. 
By 1 1 .30 we're back and I have to 
think of lunch. We have soup, Karen 
goes to nursery for two blissful hours 
every day and if I'm very lucky the 
baby might sleep. 

At 12.15 the electricman calls to read 
the meter, I complain about the price, 
he agrees and then tells me that we 
used the same as last year but the price 
is a lot different. 

Loud bangs gunshots.... I run to the 

door but a man opposite yells to get 
down. Get back inside with me the 
electricman and the two kids on the 
floor. Shooting goes on for what seems 
like forever, finally silence, I start to 
breathe again.... an ambulance arrives, 
the police, then running. Large black 
figures rumby screaming, one deposits 
itself at my feont door yelling 'shoot 
the fenian bastards, everyone of them', 
I panic, have we been taken over by the 
UDA/UVF? No its a friendly RUC 
man so much for the non-sectarian 
police force. It now sounds like the 
gunfight at the OK corral outside. It 
goes quiet, and the police come in 
just to make sure we're really cringing. 

A UDR man has been shot at the top 
of the street, women are now shouting 
outside it seems that the police/army 
reckon as a result that anyone in the 
street is fair game. I go out to find 
Mary my next door neighbour hyster- 
ical. Her back door had been open so 
the police had run mad through her 
house yelling she was harbouring gun- 
men. At the same time another bunch 
had gone into the house opposite, and 
seeing a comotion in Mary's house had 
fired straight into her house, leaving 
her walls and wardrobe very airey- 

how did they know she was having 
trouble with condensation? What also 
emerges is that all the shooting in the 
street had been the police - at the bot- 
tom plain clothes men had arrived, at 
the top the uniformed branch, they 
then proceeded to shoot each other, 
there were no casualities except ail 
the people who lived in the street and 
their nerves. 

The street starts to calm, women swop 
babies and comfort each other. The 
electricman still lying on the floor 
rings in the central office, hes had 
enough, hes going home. Now the fun 
begins... .search operation begins. 
Every house is to be searched by the 
police... they even empty my nappy 
bucket. Eventually though they go, its 
now 1.30, no point sending Karen to 
nursery, baby goes to sleep, and Mary 
comes in for a cup of tea. Door knock 
its the army, they want to search... 
same routine, they take everything 
out and I put it away again. 
They leave and we go back to the tea, 
door goes again, its the police, they 
want to search, I can't believe this my 
home is beginning to feel like the 
local barracks. They leave, and the 
door goes two more times before 3.00 
- five searches in all. At 3.10 the door 
goes again - its the army, I've had 
enough, amazed at my own courage 
I tell them that they're not getting in 
and shut the door in their faces. After 

a bit they go, and I settle the children, 
and send Mary for a half bottle of 
whiskey. Anohter loud noise this 
time at the back, I go out to find 6 
Brits in the kitchen and my backdoor 
lying in the yard, I start screaming but 
it gets me no where except hoarse, and 
the two children crying. Finally the 
nappy bucket searched for the sixth 
time they leave, just as Mary gets back. 
Hot whiskies all round, bang goes this 
weeks family allowance. Mike made 
his own tea, and ours. Fell into bed 
about 8.00 with the kids. Just another 
day in Belfast 

2» There will be an Abortion Conference 
q on December 5th in Dublin either in 

Liberty Hall or Trinity. The conference 
^x: is organised by the Womens' Right to 
O Choose Group in Dublin and the 
^Northern Ireland Abortion Campaign. 

Workshops will include: Is Abortion 
£v a feminist issue? Anti-abortionists, 
2* North and South, Women and Poverty, 
m Single Parents, Male Involvement- 

problems/responsibility, Sex education, 
JJi If you want to go and you can offer 
^ transport or need transport please 
^ contact the women's centre 43363. 
<^ Also if you need accomodation. There 

will be women going from Craigavon, 

Coleraine and Derry as well as Belfast. 
.Q Posters will be ready soon. Watch out 
^ for details. 

O Also watch for posters advertising the 
w benefit in aid of Northern Ireland 
Abortion Campaign. 

News & Views of the, 

Belfas t Anarchist Collective 

cocoes oot evtey 

- of «tate ; basses, pahWchu.-ScV^,-,* 
1 SocAt^ , ai*L ' (advocate orife ct-^F^e 

on thursday 19th November, 700 people 
marched through Newry. Their protest 
was aimed at the local Haughey clan 
member, Eddie, managing director of 
Norbrook Laboritories, who produce 
vetinary pharmaceuticals. 
Haughey is a local self made capitalist who 
started his business in a Newry basement. 
With the aid of a LEDU award he has 
progressed to a large factory on the edge 
of the town, right beside the 800 house 
Derrybeg estate. 

Last August, pissed off by the rough deal 
they were getting, Norbrook workers 
decided to join a union - the ITGWU. 
When Haughey heard of this, he laid off 7 
of the "ringleaders!' At 5:25 on the 
tuesday they were to hold their first meet- 
ing. The rest of the unionised workers 
decided to strike in support of their mates. 
Haughey tried to counteract the strike by 
keeping on part-time student workers 
(mostly his own relations!) untill the end 
of the holidays, and by bringing in scabs. 
The strikers are being supported by other 
unions, and very few raw materials are now 
getting into the factory. 

Haugheys wife, who is a solicitor, applied 
for an injunction to stop the picketing, 
and judgement is still pending. Not 
satisfied with this, Haughey is still harass- 
ing the pickets in whatever ways possible. 
For example, one wet day the pickets wore 
rainproof jackets and leggings. He rans the 
RUC and told them that four members of 
a para-military organisation were outside 
his gate. The RUC came out to the picket 
line, had a laugh about it, and left. Then 
the picketers got a brazier together to keep 
warm. Haughey rang the RUC to complain 
about people lighting fires outside his gate. 
The RUC came out, warmed their hands, 
and left. 

He has also taken to photographing 
anybody who stops to talk to the picketers 
and to taking their car registration numbers. 
This must be keeping him busy, as there is 
a lot of local support, including the train 
driver who passes every day, blows his 
whistle, and waves a clenched fist salute. 
In September, some of the striking workers 
who were concerned with the disposal of 
Norbrooks waste, compiled a report to 
present to the District Council. Their 
disposal methods consisted of pouring 

some of the wastes on a field between the 
factory and Derrybeg estate, and setting 
fire to it. The flames are said to be thick, 
black and foul smelling, and were carried 
by the wind into the houses. Other wastes 
were poured into a ditch in the same field. 
This ditch runs directly behind some of the 
houses. Both dumping and burning were 
regular occurences. 

The report also included evidence from a 
council driver who had seen a trailer load 
of wastefrom Norbrook being dumped in 
the council tip at Courtaney Hill, overlook- 
ing the town. The council had not been 
told that chemicals were being dumped 
onto the tip. 

The report also states that the chemicals 
burnt and dumped include' some which are 
highly inflammable and explosive, some 
which.are poisonous when touched or 
inhailed, and some which cause cancer, 
including one called Nitrofurazone, which 
is so dangerous that it was taken out of 
production last year. 

The report has been ignored by the council, 
whose engineer - a friend of Haughey - 
says that everything is alright. 
So thats why 700 people came out to tell 
Haughey what they think, but it is highly 
unlikely that he cares. He recently sold his 
shares to a big Dutch company, whilst 
staying on as managing director, and 
building himself a swimming pool with part 
of the proceeds. Someone should dump 
nitrofurazone in it. 


We previ ously carried an article on 
Loyalism, and promised one on Republican- 
ism. Here it is. We will later produce one 
on Anarchism. 


The centralisation of power, both in the 
resistance to the British and Orange state, 
and in proposals for a new Ireland are the 
product of an ideology —Republicanism — 
whose origonal purpose was to consolidate 
the power of the merchant and professional 


The military have taken over the governing 
of Poland, imposed martial law, and threat- 
ened to execute anyone who breaks the 

The tensions within Polish society threat- 
ened the ruling bureaucracy, and the 
alliance with the USSR. 

The rise of Solidarity was the result of 
released energy and self confidence. And 
despite the efforts of reformists in the CP, 
the catholic church, and careerists such as 
Lech Walesa with their attempts at 
channeling protests into national one day 
strikes ana a national government (alliance 
between the above three), there have 
consistently been local initiatives at taking 
more control over work, distribution etc. 
These occupations and strikes were what 
threatened the bureaucracy and Russia. 

Opposition to military rule is growing, and 
will have to confront the USSR eventually, 
if the self confidence of the working class 
and the disaffection by the 20,000 army 
conscripts (out of 100,000 ) proves too 
much for the Polish military. 

We are angry! 

This was the call from the roof of Crumlin 
Road Jail on the weekend of December 1 1 
by Loyalist prisoners. They were protesting 
over conditions in the remand wing, and 
held four warders hostage. Thirteen 
Republicans barricaded themselves in their 
cells, though the protesters claimed to have 
them as hostages. 

They had five demands, two of which were 
met within two days and the protest was 
called off. These two demands were for an 
enquiry into remand conditions, and the 

Eromise of constant pressure on the NIO 
y Loyalist politicians. DUP'ers, McQuaid 
and Robinson have taken up the case. 

Two contrasts with the other prison 
protests are the almost total faith in 
politicians, and the taking of other 
prisoners as hostages. 

class, and not the people of no property. 
The bourgeois of Ireland, though, have 
already established themselves comfortably 
in both states. The Republican leaders of 
today resemble more the administrators of 
a new Ireland. They have a contempt for 
the opportunism and exploitation by the 
bourgeoise md want to create an independ- 
ant socialist republic. It will though be of as 
much benefit to the people of no property 
as the bourgeois solution, still refusing us 
direct control over our economic and 
social lives. 

continued next page 

"Republicanism " continued. 

There are two traditions of socialism. The 
statist variety puts economic and political 
power in the hands of a central organisation 
Even if there is universal suffrage, reducing 
people's power to an "X" mark on a ballot 
paper every four years still leaves the decis- 
ion making to others. No matter how 
sincere or revolutionary a group or an 
individual is, the moment they have power 
over others — once power is centralised — 
then the relationship is between those who 
have power and those who haven't. It is an 
authoritarian and exploitative relationship. 
The other tradition in socialism is libertar- 
ian or Anarchist.That is the title of an 
article in a future issue. 

Republicanism came to fruit in France in 
the 1790's, as the ideology of the bourge- 
oise. They, along with the embryonic 
working class (the 'bras nus' - 'bare arms') 
deposed the old order of aristocratic and 
Church rule. On many occasions the 'bras 
nus' made independant demands, and 
fought for these through their political 
clubs and neighbourhood sections. But they 
had no generalised self-awareness, and no 
consistency in detailing their interests and 
putting foward their proposals. 

This weakness was mainly because in this 
period of history, the working population 
was passing fromfeudalism to industrialism, 
from craft and tied labour to wage labour. 
On the other hand, the bourgeoise knew 
clearly what they wanted - a state with 
political power in a centralised parliament 
to complement the economic power they 
already had in manufacturing, commerce 
and finance. 


This revolution influenced many people 
throughout the world who shared 
contempt for the arrogance, wealth and 
cruelty of the old order. But it was 
fundamentally a revolution to replace the 
aristocracy by the bourgeoisie. 

In Ireland an organisation was set up 
mirroring the aims of the French Republic- 
ans. The United Irishmen were predomin- 
antly Presbyterians, of the merchant and 
professional class, who saw Britains 
stranglehold on Ireland, and collusion by 
the Anglican ascendancy here, as severely 
limiting their own potential to build a 
prosperous economy and to create a polit- 
ical regime reflecting their interests.- 

Just as Robespierre appealed to the 'Bras 
nus' to take up the fight against the hated 
aristocrats and church, so Wolf Tone 
appealed to the 'Men of no property' to 
help throw out the British. Tone's advoc- 
acy of ending persecution against the mass 
of poor 'catholic' peasants was to enhance 
the prospects of his class coming to power. 
He said, "As no change could make their 
political situation worse, I reckoned on 
their support as a certainty'.' 

Since the rising of 1398, most resistance to 
British control has adopted the ideology 
of Republicanism. Though the origional 
Sinn Fein at the beginning of this century, 

was monarchist, Griffiths and the others 
soon adopted the Republican aim of an 
independant bourgeois parliament as the 
sole expression of political power. 
When the war of Independance broke out, 
it was fought mainly in the country areas 
between 1919 -1921. Through industrial- 
isation and the consequent labour disputes, 
the urban areas produced a syndicalist war 
with unions and employers in constant 
conflict, mainly in Belfast and Dublin.. 
Despite the efforts in 1916 of the Irish 
Citizens Army, little contact between the 
traditions of Republicanism and Syndical- 
ism took place. I nportant exceptions were 
the general strike in Limerick against 
British Army occupation, and the dairy and 
and flour Soviets of Co. Clare. 
There was a bitter Civil War after the 
signing of the treaty which left the six 
northern counties in the hands of the 
Unionist party, and the south still owing 
an alleagance to the monarchy. The anti- 
Treatyites were beaten with the help of 
British artillery, and they became the 
illegal IRA. Later they too split, when 
DeValera left and founded Fianna Fail, 
which soon became the most powerful 
political party in the South. ' 


Why did the resurgance of Republicanism 
take place after so many years of apparent 
insignificance? The Civil Rights movement 
which challenged the state was composed 
of many elements - Socialist, Liberal, 
Republican and even Anarchist. The Civil 
Rights movement failed to realise that this 
state was so corrupt and sectarian that it 
could not be reformed. The very creation 
of this state was the root of the problem. 
Republicanism had a tradition of opposing 
both the state and the British occupation, 
and eventually came into it's own. 

What gives the Republican groups promin- 
ence and makes them attractive to working 
class people is not their ideology, but their 
resistance to the present injust, brutal and 
sectarian society. They are rooted in the 
anti-unionist farmlands and ghettoes of the 
North, because these areas have suffered 
most of the discrimination and harassment 
of the British and Orange state. 
However, there were other groups such as 
Peoples' Democracy, who also developed an 
anti-imperialist approach. Some others even 
took up arms to defend areas against 
sectarian attacks. The I R A saw itself as 
more than a defense force. It regarded itself 

as an army, the army of the Second Dail 
of 1918, the only 32 County elected Govt. 
As inheritor of that Governments authority, 
it's Army Council could tolerate no indepen 
dant groups. Eg. A small revolutionary group 
in the Beechmount area was disarmed in the 
early '70's because they wouldn't accept the 
authority of the IRA. In effect, the only 
way to get guns for defence was to join the 
IRA and accept their orders. 
The first split in the "present troubles" 
came about when the I RA was veering | 
towards a Communist Party line. The i 
traditional "anti-communism" combined j 
with the urgency to get arms (finance being 
offered by members of Fianna Fail in the 
South) led to a breakaway which became j 
the Provisionals. There was a further split 
from the Officials when those socialists 
discontented with the abandoning of anti- 
partitionjst politics founded the IRSP. 
The momentum of the struggle and its 
location in the industrial ghettoes of the 
North gradually produced a more socialist 
critique, but only as part of an alliance with 
the tradionalists. Tensions have surfaced 
every so often, with the eventuality of a 
split dependant on time. These splits have 
always involved the question of who owns 
what guns, and led to bitter feuds over arms 
dumps and territory. 

Over this last decade, despite the courage 
and clear sightedness of the immediate polit- 
ical problem, the practice of Republican 
groups has often reflected the reactionary 
side of nationalism. While sectarianism must 
be confronted, and not wis tied away, the 
strategy and practice of Republicans often s 
reflects a chauvinism of their own. 

The military strategy of keeping the South a 
safe base, by not operating there, combined 
with a bombing campaign in the North and 
England with high civilian casualties, reflects 
a respect for "Irish capitalism" and a 
disdain for "Protestant" and British working 
class people. 


While losing 10 of their best people, the 
Republican movements have gained publicity 
and support. There has been an increase of 
Recruits and finances to the I RA and IN L^ 
in response to the intransigence and repress- 
ion of the British Government. Much of the 
media coverage has identified them, especia- 
lly Sinn Fein/IRA as the sole protagonists 
in the protests. Through elections there are 
2 IRSP councillors and one Sinn Fein MP 
(as well as two Peoples Democracy Councill- 
ors). It will be very interesting to see what 
social and political statements that Owen 
Carron produces now that the hunger strike 
is over. If Gerry Adams stands against Fitt 
in the next election, the new attitude in 
favour of electioneering might force SF to 
come up with proposals other than "Brits 

The H Block/Armagh committee (dominated 
by Sinn Fein) concentrated on the lobbying 
of Priests and politicians, but it was these 
forces, by their manipulation, which helped 
defeat the hunger strike. This reveals a bank- 
ruptcy of political ideas. Republican News, 
whilst offering detailed reports of protests 
and the prisoners motives, made little or no 
attempt at analysing how the hunger strike 










could have won , other than parroting the 
SF leaderships lobbying tactics. 

Since Octobers Ard Feis, there have been the 
beginningoof a series of articles in "Republ- 
icaniNews about "youth" The second on 
'Hoods' was the most interesting and explor- 
ative. But it stands in stark contrast to the 
practice and politics of SF. Joy Riders were 
described as having adopted the views of 
the British state in their definition of 
"criminal'.' The authoress suggested that the 
young peoples crimes were as political as 
the Provos. While such Libertarian views are 
welcomed, they are to be seen in the 
context of Sinn Feins political ambitions. 
They want to replace the SDLP electorally 
as the leadership of the 'nationalist' commun 
ity, as opposed to destroying the illusions 
of parliamentary politics. And to 'take 
power' (according to Morrison and Carron 
at the Ard Fheis), as opposed to destroying 
hierarchial and state power. A footnote on 
the first article on 'glue sniffing' described 
Anarchism as a mild English import. 
Republicans could be described as a bourg- 
eois French import, in their proposals for 
state control of economic life. 


The I RSP split from Official Sinn Fein on 
the grounds that the latter abandoned 
the 'national' question. They have a Marxist- 
Leninist vision of the future state, which is 
totalitarian. But theyalso boldly propose 
social changes such as abortion by choice, 
and are more secular in their opposition to 
the Church. However, being a party, they 
have a central authority like Sinn Fein, and 
also play the electoral game as a political 
expediency. Whilst their critique of the 
South is sharper than Sinn Feins there is no 
confrontation with that state, for much the 
same reasons as the Republican Movement. 
Despite a recent appeal to protestants to 
realise their class and Irish identity, a two- 
part article in the Starry Plough earlier this 
year, just about regarded all protestants as 
loyalists, and all Loyalists as Fascists. 


It is not the resistance to oppression which 
we criticise, but the nature of that resistan- 
ce, the nature of these groups, and their 
prospects for a new society. And despite the 
political differences, we have supported those 
who have been imprisoned for that fight, and 
will continue to do so. That fight is not 
exclusive to one party or one movement, as 
the hunger strike campaign and everyday 
resistance show. They have no monopoly 
over our liberation from imperialism, and 
little contribution to our liberation from 

don t like 

n ill wind blows 

'Two 'representatives of the working class' 
have shared the company of such names as 
Cardinal O'Fiach and Roy Bradford in using 
the private hospital on the Malone Road. 
Well-known 'socialist' Paddy Devlin, and 
UDA Supremo Andy Tyrie have paid throu- 
gh the nose to benefit from a hospital which 
drains resources (in personel & facilities) 
from the Welfare State's equivalents. 

Walking away from the City Hall on 
Monday the 23rd. of November, Paisley's 
Day of Action, against the steady stream 
walking towards the City Hall remembering 
the old cliche, "Curiosity killed the cat!' 
Monday saw everyone having to come to 
terms with the protest. Will I work - won't 
I? In many ways a success for the Loyalists. 
The Hype. 

The City Hall rallies, all three, called by the 
Official Unionists, UDA and Paisley's DUP 
to coincide over a short period of time 
were confusing to say the least - Rows 
erupted — numbers were low. The biggest 
being Paisley's with no more than 5,000. 
In the country it was different, with 
cavalcades blocking off country towns and 
villiages, snaking their way along, tooting 
their horns. Here the shutdown was more 

Newtownards on Monday night was the 
big one — the Third Force was to be on 
show. The final show of strength with the 
guns that never materialised. Paisley claim- 
ed leadership of the Protestant people, for 
that was what the day was all about - who 
heads the Unionist "family'.'? 

Molyneaux's days as leader of the Official 
Unionists are numbered. At every contest 
with Paisley over the round table talks with 
Atkins, Molyneaux was left outside. On the 
Day of Action, Molyneaux managed a 
small parade at the Cenotaph, while Paisley 
reviewed the Third Force at Newtonards. 

The UDA were caught in the middle, not 
supporting the Day of Action, then calling 
their own protest with McCusker speaking 
— an unusual alliance indeed. 

But whilst the division exists between the 
UDA and Paisley (the UDA calling for an 
independant Ulster, and Paisley fighting 
for the "historic" union to be maintained), 
Paisley sees clearly that the option of an 
ndependant Ulster with links with the 
South is more in order than the impossible 
Loyalist wet-dream of returning to a pre 
'69 situation. 

The DUP, however, are gaining maximum 
support by chanting, "no sell-out',' and 
when the time suits them they will denoun- 
ce the sincerity of the British Government 
and call for a "Protestant solution for a 
Protestant people!' Had Paisley kept to 
his Carson Trail time schedule, he would 
have declared a Provisional Government in 
Newtownards. Instead he chose to parade 
his Third Force, and declare himself Big 
Daddy of the Protestant people. If 
Paisley can go ahead with his plans, a 
declairation of UDI will come with time. 
The only problem will be to make the 
change in declared ends without his follow- 
ers suspecting that something is up, and 
that big Dada is using them as expendable 

Bradfords 'timely' death gave Paisley the 
burst of vitality that his Carson Trail 
needed. None the less, a lot of people from 
both "sides" found it impossible to shed 
tears over the death of such a notorious 
bigot, who "believed" that the Loyalist 
people of Ulster were a 'lost tribe) with the 
6 counties as their God given homeland. 

/ V0 it YOURSELF - 

Housing being what it is, and that's not 
much by the way the Housing Executive 
operate, is one of the most important nee- 
ds for all of us, and bad houses don't make 

While the EEC grant of £400 million has 
been promised, many of us, especially 
those who need it, won't see any improve- 
ments in our homes, except being moved 
to another house, which is what the EEC 
want: split and divide the community, it's 
one sure way of stopping revolution/war/ 
troubles/, call it what you want. 
A sensible approach, one that anybody 
who calls themself an Anarchist should 
surely take, although I see no reason why 
anybody who doesn't call themself an An- 
archist shouldn't take either, is to 'Do It 
Yourself. Not dynamic politics, certainly 
not going to overthrow the system in the 
morning, but getting rid of damp, cold & 
draughts makes life that little bit easier. 
By doing it the 'alternative way' it is one 
step further in one's 'own personal devel- 
opment' - who said that ?, for days to 
come when we do overthrow the system, 
state, etc., etc. 

With Autumn ending, nature is storing up 
its last resources to get through the Winter. 
Plants are dying back, storing energy in the 
roots, wild animals are building themselves 
up and the Housing Executive shits who 
are always hoarding are hoarding even more 
- £400 million to be exact. The human 
race too, who at one time were not that 
far removed from nature and the elements, 
should also be preparing for the next few 

Rubbish Skips are in bloom all over the 
city, offering a wealth of goodies, old & 
sometimes new. Up the Malone Road, for 
example, old carpets for blocking out the 
draught around doors (leave the top free 
for ventilation). 

Wood in many forms, for the fire. Hard- 
wood burns best. Usually very heavy, but 
sometimes you might find a really good 
piece for that much-needed bookshelf- 
which is another form of insulation. Soft- 
wood burns bright and sparkey, but for 
building purposes, essential. 
Newspapers and sawdust/woodshavings, 
for attic insulation: lay layers of sawdust 
first, then the newspaper. 
Clear plastic/clingfilm is good for double- 
glazing. Wash your windows first. This 
should be removable, as Summer is not 
long off. 

Free 'Conservation Leaflets' can be got 
from the Coal, Gas & Electricity Boards & 
Just Books store some great books on Dl Y. 
Use imagination is the real answer to the 
problem. You may find that some alterat- 
ions are not the most pleasing to look at, 
but I can safely say that it's nicer to keep 
warm and feel better than be cold and look 

And, after all that, if you still don't know 
where to start, cut a load of wood for some 
older person - maybe they might like that. 

£./fl£T UP 

The Embassy Twenty are the 20 people 
who were arrested and charged after the 
H-Block/Armagh March to the British Em- 
bassy on July 18th. The 20 have been char- 
ged under the Offences Against the State 
Act, and, if convicted, face between 2 and 
7 years in prison. 

A defence Campaign has been launched & 
a highly successful March was held in Dub- 
lin on the 7th of November. The first of 
the defendants will be tried on December 
2nd. The others will be tried after Christ- 

The trial provides a great opportunity to 
attack the repressive institutions of the 
'Free State', especially the Special Criminal 
Court. This Court is similar to the juryless 
Diplock Courts, and, increasingly, it is 
being used not only against so-called polit- 
ical people, but also against social offend- 
ers (see if you can think of a better phrase) 
It won't be long before this Court is used 
against workers fighting for their jobs and 
decent wages. 

This Court is a political Court and is used 
to get rid of 'undesirable people'. These 20 
people have been selectively charged. A lot 
of them have been centrally involved in the 
Campaign to win the 5 Demands. Also, 
they are being used as scapegoats. With the 
Coalition in power, an incident such as the 
Embassy March could not pass without 
somebody being done for it. Part of the 
Coalition's law and order strategy is to keep 
any resistance down. 
Also, the national question is one area 
where Fitzgerald's legitimacy could be ser- 
iously undermined. He sees the anti-imper- 
ialist movement as a real threat and it must 
be stamped out. Thus we have increasing 
co-operation with the Brits around the 
whole area of security. 
There are other elements to the campaign. 
People were being denied their 'right to 
protest' (as were the Belfast 34) by not 
being allowed to march past the Embassy. 
The marchers were deliberately provoked 
by the presence of so many cops. This sh- 
owed us clearly whose side Fitzgerald is on 
When people reacted to this provocation, 
they were mercilessly batoned. Cops went 
after everybody, including elderly people 
and children. How many of them were 
charged ? Indeed, it seems that the cops 
are above the law. 

The Defence of the Embassy 20 must be a 
political defence. Legally, in the Special 
Court, the state will use any evidence it 
wishes to. We must all, North and South, 
support the 20 as we did during the H Block 
Armagh campaign. We must tocus on the 
Special Court and bring it into disrepute 
for being the circus it is. 
The Defence Committee is looking for 
Statements from people who were present 
at the March. If you were with any of the 
defendants or saw Garda brutality, contact 
the Committee immediately. If you were 
assaulted, and can prove it, and are prepar- 
ed to press charges against Gardai, we also 
need to hear from you. The Defence Com- 
mittee can be contacted at: 
30 Mountjoy Square, DUBLIN 1. 
Tel: Dublin 747200. 


On Tuesday Nov 10th eight Dublin work- 
ers were committed to jail by the High 
Court, they were found to be in contempt 
of court for refusing to obey a court order 
restraining them from picketing and tresp- 
assing at the factory were they work, Ault 
and Wiburg Ltd. 

The workers had been occupying the fact- 
ory after a six week dispute. The workers 
wanted to transfer from the Irish Transp- 
ort and General Workers Union [ITGWU] 
to the more militant Automobile, General 
Engineering and Mechanical Operatives Un 
ion [AGEMOU] . Both the company and 
the ITGWU were refusing them their right 
to do this. The details of the dispute are 
not as important as the precedent that has 
been set by this case. 

This is the first time since 1966 that an in- 
junction has been enforced. Workers are 
being denied their so-called 'right to prot 
est'. The injunction not only covered the 
occupation of the factory but also the pick 
ets on the gate. Two workers were sent to 
jail just for picketing the factory. All the 
people that I talked to, who were involved 
in the dispute, did not seem to know on 
what grounds the injunction against picket- 
ing had been granted. 

The case is particularly important if one 
looks at the economic situation in the Sou- 
th. With the recession getting worse, more 
and more jobs are going to be sacrificed. 
Any fight-back against redundancies could 
be squashed by the use of the Courts and 

Secondly, the fact that there is no National 
Understanding (the centralised agreement 
where bosses, government and unions dec- 
ide on the size of wage increases) this year 
is significant. Already some unions have lod 
ged claims for 20% increases. The bosses & 
government are totally against these kinds 
of rises. The Coalition Government has rec- 
ommended that people should get a 6% in- 
crease. They will try to enforce this espec- 
ially within the Public Sector. This case st- 
rengthens their position in trying to do this. 
As well as the threat of unemployment, 
workers now have the threat of jail hanging 
over them. 

The workers spent only one night in jail and 
decided to pejure their contempt (say they 
were sorry) after the ITGWU said it would 
release them so that they could join the 
AGEMOU. When they did this they were 
treated with total contempt by the Court. 
The judge wanted them to beg while the 
Barrister for the company kept suggesting 
that they must have had a leader. In his eyes, 
workers are not capable of organising them- 
selves. When they did say sorry and decided 
to go back to work they were then told there 
was no work for them. Of course there were 
still jobs available for the non-striking work- 

This case shows that the state is willing to use 
its repressive machinery to keep workers in 
line. This willingness can only increase as the 
recession gets worse. Workers and unions mu- 
st realise this and start taking effective action 
to fight back now. If workers are jailed, strik- 
es should be organised until they are released 
- and that's without being sorry for taking 
on the bosses. 


"Christmas is coming, 
the goose is getting fat" 
.... and the turkeys, chickens, pheasants, 
deer, etc etc, ready for the mass slaughter 
that is part of what this "festive" season 
means for animal life. A/lover the country, 
animals and birds are being crowded into 
already cruel and intensive factory condit- 
ions, ready for the knife, or stun gun, or 
worse. Transportation becomes an even 
more oppressive facet of this trade of butch- 
ery, as birds are packed tightly into cages 
with no room to breath, resulting in even 
more distress — all in an atmosphere of 
pressure and competition, when handlers 
are more prone to abuse the life they are 
transporting. As if this were not enough to 

add to the suffering, the traders in "pets" 
are stocking shops and breeding establish- 
ments, ready to sell their merchandise to 
any caller. Stock not sold is often abandon- 
ed, sent for slaughter or to vivisection and 
testing laboritories. Pets, bought as "toys" 
for households totally unprepared and 
uncaring, are often abandoned or thrown 
out onto the streets to die, when they have 
served their amusement value, or when 
people become bored or irritated by the 
new arrival making extra demands. Yes, 
Christmas is coming, and amoungst the orgy 
of self-indulgence and consumer ist values, 
we could well reflect on what it means for 
that most oppressed and powerless part of 
life on earth — the animal species. 


I saw you shove that hosepipe down your trousers 
so you can shiver with something to shake 
I'm gonna rip the buttons off your teeshirt 
I'M gonna peel the wrapper off your face 
Obsessive Sexuality. 

Another first in Be/fasti London based punk /Anarchist band 
"Poison Girls" will be playing at the Long Lane "A" Centre, on 
the afternoons of the 19th and 20th of December, along with 
Just Destiny, Stalag 17, The Defects and the Dogmatic E'sf 



Sold with Outta Control lOp (outside Ireland 15p) PRODUCED INDEPENDENTLY BY ANA RCHA- FEMINISTS 


HI ITT A Omimni ^^^Sjt^K issue number ten Christmas 1981 

TA uUNTn(#ff l ''^V[ the birth of a man who thinks 
■ — ^ ■■hbsba he's God isn't such a rare event" 


J 1 I 

I I L! 




The Belfast Education and Library 
Board has just released two 'discussion 
documents' about the future of both 
primary and secondary schools in the 
Belfast area. Although they are being 
presented for discussion it is clear that 
all the board's officers have given the 
proposals unanimous backing, so it is 
likely no matter the public response, 
that most of the proposals will be put 
into practice in the near future. 
The proposals deal only with the con- 
trolled schools, those owned and 
managed by the board, the maintained 
(Catholic), and the grammar schools 
are not as yet involved. What the 
board proposes to do is to close down 
12 primary schools, 'reallocate' some 
nursery schools, and close about four 
secondary schools. The reason given 
for the closures are the falling rolls in 
Belfast schools in particular in the 
North and East of Belfast. The num- 
ber of children has fallen by 40% in 
school since 1968, partly because of 
emigration from Belfast, but also due 
to a falling birth rate, (in Catholic 
schools the drop has only been 21%). 
According to the board many schools 
are becoming too small to provide 
adequate facilities for the pupils, and 
it is seemingly difficult to attract new 

teachers to schools which are getting 
smaller and smaller, their solution 
then is too make plans for fewer sch- 
ools with much larger rolls, hence 
giving children most oppurtunity for 

There is of course another reason for 
the closures which don't have as much 
too do with concern for the pupils as 
with the dictates of the Thatcher gov- 
ernment, namely the BE LB have been 
asked to make a 2 million pound cut 
in their budget in the coming year and 
one way of cutting your bugget is! to 
close your schools. Obviously the 
fewer schools you have the less costs 
in terms of running. For example you 
need fewer caretakers, cleaners, and 
canteen staff. Your running bills are 
also smaller, heating, lighting and fuel. 
Of course you also need less teaching 
staff, and thatsia big saving also. 
Given that in Northern Ireland the 
teacher-pupil ratio is higher than any- 
where else in the UK, then a rise in 
this figure represents a loss to the 
children in these schools and not a 
gain as the BE LB is trying to make out 

Already there have been many protests 
against the proposed closure. One 
group of mothers who are losing their 
ncirsery- the McArthur on the Newto- 

wnards Rd, have blocked the road 
and stopped traffic to bring attention 
to their situation. Women will infact 
be the hardest hit by these closures 
because for many children they will 
mean more travelling and larger fares, 
and it will be their mothers who will 
have to deal with these. Some of 
the primary schools have nurseries 
included, and there has been no 
mention of their replacement in new 
schools, so childcare falls back on the 
mother. Many of the redundancies 
brought about by the closures will also 
involve women workers. 

Another problem also not dealt with 
in the documents is the community 
focus of many of these schools that 
open their doors in the evening to 
community groups and activities, when 
the schools shut the BE LB has no 
plans for their use on any other basis 
as they say the costs would be too 
high. At the bottom of the list come 
the children who will have to endure 
larger classes, less attention, bigger 
more anonomous schools, while the 
government continues to subsidise 
private education to the tune of £156 
million per year. Its clear to see 
where the priorities lie! 




In a particulary nasty piece of token- 
ism, Belfast Large Stores Association 
devised a "Sheltered Shopping Evening 
Evening" for disabled shoppers, in 
November. Instead of using time, 
money and energy to make their 
establishments easily accessible at all 
times to the blind r deaf and otherwise 
physically disabled part of our 
community through more thoughtful 
design and adequate facilities, this 

Association uses a public relations 
exercise as a token 'charitable ' act. 
What in fact is 'charitable' about 
contributing to the alienation and 
separate-ness felt by many disabled 
people, by keeping them apart from 
the rest of the community and by 
using local party political figures to 
go walkabout among them, giving 
patronising chats to people who must 
be weary and angry at being treated 

as 'different' or in need of 'sheltered' 
shopping? This propaganda exercise 
this advertising stunt, is certain to 
add weight to the coffers of the large 
stores and what is also certain is that 
in their consumerist greed, they will 
contribute to the anxiety already felt 
by physically disabled people who 
find themselves in a society that puts 
profits before a genuine concern for 
the less privileged. 


That there is a massive housing 
problem here with up to a third 
of the housing stock, sub standard 
must have sunk in just about 
everywhere and a few weeks ago 
the papers were full of the 
unprecedented EEC grant of 
£400 million to help finance 
new housing in Belfast on top 
of all the other grants coming 
from Westminster. So what 
exactly is being built, is it any 
better than the notable past 
disasters of Divis, Turf Lodge, 
and Shankill flats that working 
people have been forced to 
live in long after they should 
have been pulled down? 
A half hour drive around Belfast should 
answer that one. You could live in 
York Street in a new house with easy 
access to the motorway— after you've 
scaled the ten foot wall outside your 
back door-applicants should be deaf 
and immune to lead pollution. Or a 2 
or 3 bed roomed house in McClure St 
for those wanting to live parallel to a 
proposed major link road with the East, 
and a railway line-double glazing was 
thought to be unnecessary— or further 
down the road in a new house with a 
windowless bathroom, condensation 
and green mould. Families are living in 
so much worse that they are gratefully 
moving into these houses, A new house 
is seen as a fresh start and a social 
advance. It is an excuse to get new 
furniture, even at the risk of getting into 
debt, because the old is too shabby for 
a new house. After having lived, maybe 
all their lives, in damp, sub standard, 
overcrowded houses, everyone feels a 

tremendous relief to get out. that 
being the tragedy of the situation. 
Designing houses, architects and 
planners follow the fashion of the 
times. High rise flats are out, in 
comes maisonettes and "village" 
type housing, in other words, small 
box houses with square rooms 
which encourage a cubic mentality- 
boxy sofas, boxy tables, boxy units, 
a uniform for the modern age. 

Apart from the well cited observation 
that architects are usually men and can 
afford not to live in what they create, 
estates built in the last two decades lack 
the sense of community found in the 
terraced housing in the inner city. Much 
of this is explained by the fact that 
planning did not include shops, schools, 
health centres, doctors surgeries, recrea- 
tional centres etc, as in Twinbrook 
for example, or was too heavily in 
favour of the motor car and like 
Craigavon, a large shopping block 
was built on its own outside the 
estates. Although housing standards 
are higher than they were in Victorian 
times, variety has disappeared, attics 
and cellars, five or more bedroomed 
houses are an exception and there 
is a cut down on space all round: this 
is likely to get worse with this govern- 
ment's intention to reduce the recomm- 
ended minimum space and heating 
standards proposed by the Parker Morris 
Committee in 1961. 

A few months ago, a woman with a 
large family was allocated two houses 
side by side to live in because nothing 
had been designed and built to suit her 
needs in the area. Houses are created 
for the ideal family; a neat unit of two 

parents and two children, all able bodied 
father employed and mother in the 
home. That planners must know fewer 
people than ever fit this crude descr- 
iption does not stop them from 
designing these houses. Introduce 
children or old people or handicapp- 
ed people and modern housing 
design falls short of the desirable! 

Children for instance don't figure in 
the design. Their allocation is a small 
bedroom and our way of life makes 
all other areas technically out of bounds 
The kitchen, that streamlined small 
space is used for storing and cooking 
food and messy activities like children 
baking cakes, painting, playing with 
water are more often than not, 
discouraged. The lounge is generally 
a bit of a showpiece. It is very much 
an adult area and the said adults 
get annoyed falling over umpteen 
bits of coloured plastic, cars, trains, 
balls, or children racing around playing 
hide and seek so tend to encourage 
more passive activities like drawing, 
reading books, watching television, 
building lego or playing with dolls. 
Adults, more particulary those without 
children, can take themselves off into 
town and go to a movie, shopping, 
swimming, drinking or whatever but 
children have to make their own enter- 
tainment within the confines of the 
home for much of the time. 
The lack of child orientated space is 
frustrating even though most child- 
ren are able to create the magic with 
fertile imaginations (and anything 
else they can get away with when 
you are not looking), it is also a 
strain on the parent, usually the 
mother, trying to keep some sembl- 
ance of sanity about the place. It is 
not just a question of changing 
parental attitudes, the whole frame- 
work of the house is not suitable for 
children. They need more space, their 
own space which they would prefer 
to have anyway— and there needs 
to be much more emphasis placed on 
leisure activities outside the home, 
again mainly an adult preserve. 

Houses sh 
of the people who live in them, for the 
old, the handicapped, the single person, 
each house being integrated into the 
community and not having old people 
for example being shunted off into 
sheltered dwellings. 

Housing, what goes into a house or 
doesn't and the surrounding environ- 
ment is a perplexing subject for 
feminists. We don't want to reinforce 
ourselves in the role of housewife and 
carer of all things yet we do,want to 
end the repetitive drudgery which is 
the nature of housework. Work which 
is clearly seen a 


definitely another article here! 

The poor quality of housing puts an 
extra burden on women who have to 
deal with the injuries and illness result- 
ing from it, from the depression which 
isolation within the home can bring. 
Bad design, like the height of units and 
sinks results ib bad backache, the prob- 
lems of noise, the lack of insulation, 
the inability to control or pay for 
heating-some houses fall to bits if a 
certain temperature is not maintained— 
all these resound on the woman. More 
pressure is piled on because it should 
be possible to maintain a perfect 
home in a new house and to consume 
more and more labour 'saving' devices, 
in order to do so. Some do save time, 
others tend to create work in them, 
selves. The sharing that went on in the 
terraced housing is seen as a sign of 
poverty so every house musthave a 
vacuum cleaner, a washing machine, 
etc.... we have the technology to do 
almost everything-to throw the dirty 
washing down a chute and have it 
returned washed as one woman said- 
yet we persist in buying individual 
items like washing machines for our 
individual families. Such consumerism 
is forced upon us from all sides and 
without a change of planning and 
design where, what and how we are 
to live, we are not likely to see a 
chink in the chains. Communal utility 
rooms, canteens, creches, sitting rooms, 
play areas, afterschool services, teenage 
areas, communal transport, gardens, 
plots, verandahs, advice centres, law 
centres, meeting places, pubs, flix, 
shops, health centres, some of these can 
be found in or around inner city areas, 
all and more should be incorporated 
in the building of new housing— they are 
what changes a dead estate into a 
living imaginative community. People 
are not looking to live in houses encased 
in circuits of high speed roads, such 
designs are inhuman, they are looking to 
live in communities and houses that are 
designed for people. 

I started to read Margaretta D'Arcy's 
book 'Tell Them Everything' predisp- 
osed to disliking it. I had this bad 
reaction to the idea of an international 
playwright, sailing off to Armagh for 
a few months deprivation, and then 
returning to the real world, to tell her 
story, and incidentally make some 
money and get a lot of media attention 
out of it. Thats how I approached the 
book, but by the end of the 122 
pages I felt a lot different about 
D'Arcy, her motives, and I suppose 
about Armagh, if only in the sense 
that I felt I knew a bit more about the 
lives of the women who inhabit the 
cells of Armagh Prison. This is not 
the first book about Armagh, Nell Mc 
Cafferty, and T.PXoogan have both 
dealt with the subject, but it is the 
first one written by someone who 
has actually been serving a sentence in 
the prison, and so it goes deeper than 
anything I have read before. 
What D'Arcy does is to document the 
events leading up to her sentence in 
Armagh, and then to tell the story of 
her time in the prison among the 
republican prisoners there, At the 
time of her sentence these women 
were on the dirty protest and she 
choose to join the protest with them. 
The book is a fairly honest account 
of one woman's coming to terms with 
all the paradoxes and contradictions 
that the political situation here throws 
up, and in particular the whole 
question of the relationship between 
feminism and republicanism, a sensi- 
tive subject with the women's move- 
ment in Ireland, and a constant point 
of conflict between them and the 
• republican movement. 
She does not offer solutions, simply 
and very insightfully she points out 
clearly these pardoxes - she sees that 
Armagh is a feminist issue but 
ultimately that means no more than 
that, whilst she believes that feminists 
should be active in supporting their 

sisters in Armagh she realises that 
many of those women are not inter- 
ested in feminism nor even see the 
need for women to make demands 
in their own right. That all the womer 
she spoke too saw their loyalty to the 
republican movement, and that many 
were very hostile to demands about 
abortion, or the family. She saw 
clearly that there was a huge gulf 
between herself and the women she 
shared cells with. Some commentator} 
have argued that for these reasons she 
thought herself above the women but 
I think that to be a misreading of the 
text. She often speaks of their courage 
and their tenacity with admiration, 
and with love. She shows How in the 
context of the prison she the intell- 
ectual was incapable of answering the 
easiest of questions about current films 
or novels and was teased by the others 
as a moron most of the time, she 
shows how her awareness and experi- 
ence of the world is not theirs and as 
such the book is always open and 
honest. She emerges at the end 
having spent months in dirt and filth 
with few answers, but with a total 
respect for the women she had spent 
her time with. If you wish to under- 
stand those women then you must 
read the book. 

If on the other hand you want to 
understand nothing about Ireland, 
republicanism, and the women's 

movement, and you also lik&readL 
dreadful novels then go out and bu> 
'Blood Sisters' by Valerie Miner, I 
would be paying it a compliment if 
I said it was awful- it is atrocious. 
Under researched, over-simplified, 
with poor characterisation, and badly 
written, the story tells of two cousins 
one an American feminist, the other 
a leading light in the London Provies. 
It goes downhill after that! 
Miner has tried to analyse the 
* relationship between feminism and 
republicanism by taking a sledge- 
hammer to it, the result is a disaster. 
If your interested in the problem 
stick too Margaretta D'Arcy! 

The Women's Right to Choose Group organised their first 
conference in the South of Ireland. About 80 women from 
the north and south met for a whole day on December 5th. 

in Dublin's Liberty 
ideas and info- . 
working out 
ies and 
other. k 
the A 
duction ■ 
by a M 


report 1 
woman \ 
the NIAC 
North, we 
into two 
one on the 
ists and the other 
"Is abortion a feminist 


Hall, exchanging 
^^tnew strateg- 
getting to 
i After 
k intro- 
A given 
■ woman 
I the 

and a 
/by a 
I from 
in the 
split up 
S workshops, 
on the question, 


The anti-abortionists are much stronger in the South than in 
the North. They disrupt abortion meetings and hold pickets 
outside. Since feminists in the South started talking and 
working on the abortion issue the SPUCERS and LIFERS 
are slowly gaining new territory in the South of I reland. 
Backed by the ever moralistic Catholic Church and 
by the Conservative government, all those groups like LIFE 
and SPUC are trying to prevent women having control over 
their own bodies by any means possible. 

Through easy access to schools, parish halls etc, they 
continue unashamed to tell their lies ( with distorted media 
like their films and pictures) that abortion is MURDER, and 
SEX IS A SIN. Not only are they against abortion, no they 
don't even give a fuck about sex education, contraception 
or housing for single pregnant women. They are going to 
build one of their shelters in the South. If it looks at first 
sight very good of them to build a house where single and 
unmarried women can stay when they are pregnant and after 
they have given birth, it's worth remembering that the 
option that they give you is either to get the child adopted, 
or if you keep the child they kick you out. 


Most of the women agreed that the struggle for the right to 
choose is a fight for and supported by feminists. If a woman 
wants to control her own life and body, she needs to have 
control over her own fertility, needless to say control 
whether or not or when to have children. It's the doctors, 

the government and the clergymen in this male dominated 
society who are stopping women from having the choice of 

In the afternoon session there was discussion and talk about 
post-coital contraceptives, abortion rights in Ireland, single 
parents and male involvement in the struggle. 
Doctor Pete Brownwich, a gynaecologist and lecturer in 
human reproduction at Birmingham University gave wide- 
spread information on post-coital contraceptives, such as 
tablets for oral contraceptives to be taken within 72 hours 
after suspected .conception, or other new methods such as 
Vitamin C, various herbal remedies and menstrual extract- 
ions. Post-coital contraceptives are taken after unprotected 
intercourse, and before its known that conception has 
occured. As there are at present no contraceptives freely 
available in the South, except if you are married and even 
then only on prescription, it seems like a long time yet 
before post-coital contraceptives are available, as like 
abortion they prevent a full pregnancy once conception has 
occured. And the conservative forces won't be quiet. 

To get into the abortion conference you had to literally beat 
your way through a fanatic crowd of men, charismatics and 
bitter women (SPUC (Society for the protection of the 
unborn child) and LIFE) who came picketing outside all 
day. They must have nothing else to do?! 
In the afternoon we all had great fun recognising Aretta 
Brown - a SPUC-woman and well known anti-abortionist. 
She wouldn't admit who she was untill some woman thought 
it a bit much and tore her ridiculous purple wig off. The 
embarrassed woman fled, swearing to send us to 'hell! 
- We assume she is" still anti-abortion, although she was very 
keen on telling us that she signed the pro-choice petition. 
Near the end, the picketers made their way downstairs, 
with crosses, rosary beads, singing "Abortion is murder!" 
But maybe it was a good sign for the future of the abortion 
campaign that the women in the conference ploughed on 
through unperturbed - showing them up to be what they are 

Women expressed the need for more cooperation between 
North and South to strengthen the movement in the fight 
for legal abortion. 

There needs to be a lot of work done by women in the South 
such as campaigning the issue, given what they are up against 
and I hope that the conference helped to create stronger 
unity between sisters in the North and South and with 
more co-operation will strengthen the movement for 
safe and legal abortion on demand 

As I had anticipated, the recently 
released film version of John Fowles' 
novel "The French Lieutenant's Woman" 
is a visual treat, and after a long period 
of almost unrelieved city living, I went 
along to see the film partly for that 
quality alone. 

The evocation of period atmosphere and 
detail is excellent, particulary in the 
sharp division between life as lived in 
Victorian London "Club-Lane" and that 
in the slums. I was also interested to see 
how well the film interpreted the splendid 
novel, but in this respect success was not 
so easily won. The addition of a 20th 
century story line-that of the relationship 
between actress and actor involved in the 
filming and of the way in which involve- 
ment with the central characters of the 
novel came to affect their lives-did not 
help, as it detracted (in a rather trivial 
way) from the intricasies and subtleties of 
Fowles' work. 

The character of the title, Sarah Woodruff 
is a complex and a remote one— remote 

from her contemporaries and remote from 
us. Gripped by melancholy, longing and 
the knowledge that she is "different" from 
other women of her time, conscious of the 
fact that she is "a remarkable person"(as 
she at one time admits), she spends hours 
alone on the Dorset coastline, staring to ' 
the south. Fowles describes her face as 
"certainly not a beautiful face, by any 
period's standards or taste". But it was an 
unforgettable face, and a tragic face. Its 
sorrow welled out of it as purely, naturally 
and unstbppably as water out of a wood- 
land spring. There was no artifice there, 
no hypocrisy, no hysteria, no mask; and 
above all no sign^of madness". In this 
respect, Meryl Streep's own beautiful face 
was a traitor to her in the role of Sarah, 
although her excellent acting ability helped 
to convey some of the character's prim 

Charles Smithson, the other central figure 
in the book, is reduced to a pale shadow 
of Fowles' art by the film's screenplay and 
direction. Anyone looking for the 

tortured academic mind, the dutiful 
conforming gentleman of Victorian 
England gripped in genteel chains of 
sexual repression will be disappointed. 
The film does not do much to express 
his real fears and dilemma— his realisat- 
ion of the truth of Darwin's theory of 
the survival of the fittest, and the 
ability to change and to adapt, and his 
own fear to do just that. Faced with 
desire for and love for Sarah, he buys 
his way out with cash and cowardice. 
Whilst adequate in itself, in terms of 
visual brilliance and an adequate 
screenplay, the film does nothing more 
than introduce the story to those 
previously unfamiliar with it and acts 
as a reminder to those who read the 
book some time ago. I advise those 
who know the novel well, and who 
respect its intentions, to avoid this 
film, but for those who require only 
introduction to or reminder of this 
story of one women's liberation from 
the sexual and social oppression of 
her time, then this is a beautiful and 
haunting film that will serve them well. 



Ireland 10p Outside Ireland 20p 

The De Lore an car plant in Dunmurry has 
now ended its three day week, which it 
had blamed on the Sealink strike. That 
parts were delayed because of the strike 
and lead to short time is now question 
able, as 400 of the 2000 remain on part- 
time, working week about. The crisis lies 

Basically, the British Government has 
said that the £70 million they have given 
De Lorean is ALL that they are going to 
get. De Lorean needs another £40 million 
'just to survive'. According to De Lorean, 
to 'survive' he needs to develop the saloon 
model of the car as well, which requires 
a further £80 m. in investment. 
After trying to raise the money in the US, 
with the Stock Market, who chased him, 
it seems that he will have to go to the Gov- 
ernment for it - IF they cough up, it will, 
in fact, be against their own policy. If 
NOT, hit only alternative w to take on a 


You will never have 
seen this man appear 
on TV, but yet James 
Hawthorne is the 
Northern Ireland BBC 
Controller who 
decides what we will 
see and hear daily. 


Dick Francis, the overall Current Affairs Controller in the 
BBC will occasionally let Republican attitudes slip through 
to give the illusion of "balance'' such as the Panorama film 
of the IRA roadblock in Carrickmore (only to be threatened 
ominously that it was time the BBC put it's "house in order" 
by both Thatcher and Callaghan). 


Not so our own homegrown Controller. When James 
Hawthorne arrived back in Belfast from Britain to work for 
the BBC he refused to live in the Malone Road. This was too 
near to Andersonstown and the possiblity of being kidnapp- 
ed. Instead, he and his family were put up in a four star 
hotel at a cost of £500 per week for a year until he eventual- 
ly found a house in the Golden Mile ghetto of Co. Down 
where the real wealth can be found (a garage for the car and 
one for the yacht!). 

new partner, but then the British stake in 
the profit falls - after them bearing the 
risk. The most probable solution is that 
the state will give the £40 million, De Lor- 
ean will get the money, then close down 
(as the market he is aiming at fell by 1 1% 
and is still falling), thus making a tidy 
heap. The 2,000 workers are then tossed 
on to the dole. Don't believe me ?? 

- Six months ago (as mentioned in OUTTA 
CONTROL), a smaller firm called Euro- 
weld received a grant of £1.5 million, and 
the aspiring US multi-national cleared out 
in a matter of days. The workers occupied 
and attempted to set up a workers' co-op, 
the union promptly sold them down the 
drain, did NOTHING to support, and even 
went out of their way to block the occup- 
ation ! 

- SO, the De Lorean workers better watch 
out, for there are a lot of people willing to 

11 them out ! 

Her Majesty s 

Crumlin Road on a cold, icy January 
morning. Crumlin Road Prison is strategic- 
ally situated — next door a hospital for 
birth, a court directly opposite for sentenc- 
ing, and a graveyard fifty yards away for 

Most of the inmates of the prison are either 
Loyalists or Republicans on remand. A 
.prisoner can be kept there for anything 
from a few months to a couple of years on 
very scant 'evidence! This remanding 
process is a mere formality 61 the new 
internment contdL next page 

Ulster born James Hawthorne, in a recent lecture in the 
Polytechnic, states he was brought up into " particular 
tribe, the majority tribe" as he delicately puts it. He views 
his Loyalist position as one simply of wanting to remain 
part of Britain and a problem of identity in feeling-that the 
mainland, although repeatedly stating that Ulster is British, 
does not give it the priority it should if events here were 
happening in the nation as a whole. 

However, in that Loyalist philosophy he conveniently 
ignores what the connection leads to. The long loyalist 
tradition which, through corruption, exploitation, discrimina 
tion and violence (with Britains backing) retains the position 
of privilege and power over Catholics and Protestants who 
realise the anti-working class nature of loyalism. 

(w thorne declares that, "journalism depends on what 
people tell us is happening:' But how many times have you 
seen a BBC reporter on the scene, asking local people what 
happened and giving their version the same weight as the 
Army, Police or State story? 

A BBC Television News Sub-Editor is quoted as saying, "I 
have always assumed the official line is we put the Army's 
version first and then any other:' 

Hawthorne complains that during "the Bobby Sands affair*/ 
"One of the real difficulties was the lack of willingness of 
what I am going to call the Government side to take part in 
broadcasts. They were broadcasting to America — under 
pressure. They were briefing American and foreign journal- 
ists. They were not briefing home journalists. And yet there 
was a welter of views and opinions and statements represent- 
ing the other side of the argument. " 
Obviously the State feels the BBC could be sufficiently 
relied on to adequately present their views (although 
Hawthorne regretably feels the Republicans won the day) 
but the foreign press who were not easily controlled needed 
special effort 

contd. backpage 

contd. from front page, j 

The prison itself differs greatly from the 
more recent confines of Long Kesh, a 
hasty yet highly secure construction of 
corrugated iron fences and barbed wire. 
The 'Crum' is hundreds of years old, with 
medieval stone walls, portcullis, spy-posts, 
long grey corridors, courtyards and all it's 

The waiting room is packed. Most of the 
visitors are women waiting to see husbands, 
sons or boyfriends. Many are visibly under ' 
a high degree of stress, shaking hands, short I 
nervous glances, shouting at the kids who 
don't fully understand what's going on, or 
that the ritual of prison visits has only just 
begun for them. 

A thorough search and into the second 
waiting room. 

This is an under heated, grotty dundgeon- 
like affair - thick stone walls, barred 
windows and a barred door, which gives 
you the very real impression of being caged 
in. No-one talks. Kids run around. No-one 
enjoys the experience of visiting, the 
interminable waiting, being constantly 
under surveillance and lock and key, heavy 
searches and jibes from the screws turn the 
whole affair sour, as this process has been 
designed to do. 

Another way in which the prison authorit- 
ies attempt to break the individuals morale 
is through the policy of shifting prisoners 
from Belfast to Derry (magilligan camp) 
and from Derry to Belfast - this means 
that people have to spend the whole day 
travelling in order to visit a friend or 
relative, hence visits can become less 

Across a small grey courtyard under guard, 
and into a large Portacabin, which contains 
about twenty small cubicles. People speak 
in hushed tones, screws wander around at 
whim, watching and listening in on 'private' 
conversations, no privacy whatsoever — the 
intimacy of a close relationship being 
impossible to retain. 

Conversation on the two different worlds 
— inside/out. Inside: Loyalist "supergrass" 
has been given a portable television for his 
cell/ Loyalist prisoners recieved six hours 
of association on Christmas day, 
Republicans half of that/ freezing cold in 
the cells/ tales of endless remand court 
appearances/ a particulary vindictive screw 
is pointed out. 

The visit ends, and as you pass the army 
patrols swarming around the outer 
perimeters of the prison, ynu realise that 
you haven't been able to say half of what 
you wanted to, and that under these condit 
ions it will, inevitably, be impossible - 
such is Her Majesties Pleasure. 



There are quite a few 'alternative' singles 
in Belfast at the moment, though most of 
them have been out for some time. Origin- 
ally encouraged by the efforts of Good 
Vibrations (who have dozens of demo - 
tapes, but no money ! ) .... and a few oth- 
er enterprising, sympathetic souls. But it's 
difficult - fortunes are no t to be made on 
the alternative record market, and record- 
ing studio prices / cost of pressing singles 
is prohibitive. The days of the Virgin-hype 
are gone and if your songs are 'political' 
(ie. real), they never existed ! 
So, a new single fust out from the 
DEFECTS is m'ore than welcome on so 
many levels. 

3 songs .. 'Dance til you Drop ' (about 
glue-sniffing in the subways), 'Guilty Con- 
science' (about all the unemployed people) 
'Brutality' (about the RUC). 
The DEFECTS brought the single out with 
their own money. They have a bill of 

r £1 000 for 2000 copies. It was recorded at 
the local commercial radio recording stud- 
io and pressed in England. They had to 
book the studio, and all they could scrape 
co together on the day was £100 which 
iQ 'bought' them 4Y 2 hours of studio time 
i§ and a load of hassles. They don't expect 
too much Air-Play, particularly of 

5 'Brutality '. the only way people will 

*! get to hear the single is at Punk discos and 
^ places like Just Books. (Will John Peel 
§ play SS-R UC on the BBC ?) Not surprisin- 
| gfy, the DEFECTS have no gigs lined up.... 
§ until a permanent alternative venue exists, 
"~ no-one wants to know. 

6 'Dance Til You Drop' :- 

S 'Way on down in screaming hell 
K A place that I see every night 
The same familiar faces 
Always looking for a fight 
They appear at unchanged places 
Creating Anarchy 
Frustration from the other faces 
Watching such insanity 
Dance, dance, til they drop. ' 


'They take you down to Castlereagh 
You didn 't think you were here to stay 
They put you up against the wall 
Kicked you stupid til you fall 
What the hell did I do wrong 
I must have stood on the corner too long 
Get in the back, they said to me 
You're just the bastards from RUC 
Brutality - what do you say 
Brutality - is here to stay 
Brutality - what a threat 
Brutality - it'll get you yet 


Omagh District Council have just decided 
to declare their area a 'nuclear-free zone', 
after they learned that the USSR had take 
taken note of it as a uranium site. 

During '75/'76, a Canadian-based Uranium 
prospecting company spent time taking 
•soil samples in the Fintona area, in an att- 
empt to monitor the uranium content of 
the soil; and, if you talk to any local, you 
will learn that they seem to have found 
what they were looking for. 
Not too far away from Fintona, at San 
Angelo, a little used commercial airfield, 
there are plans of siting a Radar Dispersal 
point - part of NATO's Nuclear Strategy. 
The Post Office Trunk cable, containing 
the civil defences communications system, 
passes through also. 

Uranium, wanted by the EEC, Radar Stat- 
ions, wanted by the British Government 
and US military machines, means only 
disadvantages for the people of Omagh. 
Poisonous waste from mining, and an 
immediate launch into a dangerous world 
nuclear game (of which, incidentally, 
Derry has also opted out recently) - this 
is what is involved. Surprisingly, or maybe 
not so, it has been the Unionist family in 
both disticts who have been opposed to 
nuclear-free districts. Maybe they just feel 
more British than the British. 

The industrial plague in the form of 
asbestos has already killed many Belfast 
workers. A series of studies of 252 asbestos 
insulation workers in Belfast (1940-1975) 
found that by the end of 1975 there were 
40 survivors instead of an expected 108. 
Untill 1965 there was an excess of deaths 
due to asbestos with or without tuberculos-i 
is, alimentary cancer, bronchial carcinoma 
& mesothelioma. The death rate amoung 
survivors from 1965 on is lower, but there 
is still a marked excess of deaths from 
bronchial cancer and mesothelioma. 
Ireland has had more than it's share of 
exported noxious industries. Policy 
amoungst the large noxious industries is 
that when they are told to cease product- 
ion of a substance in one country because 
of the dangers involved, they will shift 
production to another country where the 
restrictions aren't so great. 

DUMETCO, a Dutch lead processing firm 
has recently set up in Tallaght after 
opposition to plans for expansion in 
Holland: Raybestos Manhattan, an asbestos 
plant moved to Co. Cork after law suits 
and public investigations into their affairs 
in the USA; BF Goodrich set up a vinyl 
chloride plant in Ardee, Co. Louth in 1978 
Asahi, a Japanese company using acrylonit- 
ryle set up in Co. Mayo; as a final example, 
£li Lilly set up in Co. Cork, are dumping 
all sorts of chemicals into the Atlantic 
Ocean and air around Kinsale. 


■ What Did You Do When I 
the Centre Was Going,Dear 

In issue No.21 of OUTTA CONTROL,, 
you carried an article by Padraig O 
F-liaithimh and Robin Gibson called 'Gays 
for Self-Determination'. NIGRA and the 
Strasbourg case are mentioned in the art- 
icle. Robin and Padraig state that the Str- 
asbourg case was a failure, because 0' 
Fiaith and Paisley have 'saved Ulster from 
Sodomy'. As the judgement is only just 
about a month old, they do seem to be a 
bit premature. By the way, Padraig and 
Robin would still like everybody else to 
assume 0' Fiaich was neutral if NIGRA 
hadn't blown his cover. 

The writers go on to say that we recognise 
Westminster s 'alleged' right to legislate 
for the province. There is nothing fictional 
about Westminster's right to make laws 
for Northern Ireland. It is based on its mo 
nopoly of the means of coercion. It is also 
based on the fact that the majority of the 
inhabitants connive in Westminster's rule. 
If you don't oppose the state 24 hours a 
day, you are, to a greater or lesser extent, 
collaborating with the forces of law and 
order. This is true of every state, not 
just the United Kingdom. 
O' Fliaithimh and Gibson say NIGRA has 
'alienated' nationalist homosexuals. If thej 
are using nationalist as a code-word for 
R.C., this statement can be demonstrated 
to be not true. If they mean people who 
aspire to a Dublin-run all-island state, this, 
again, is untrue. NIGRA never said that 
the British Army should remain on the 
streets of Northern Ireland, it simply point 
ed out the alternatives: the Irish Army 
could not control N.I., neither could the 
Republican underground armies. The only 
real alternative is some sort of Loyalist 
armed force under the Ayatollah, who will 
have been proved a prophet. Is this what 
the authors want ? 

They go on to mention 'Unionist misrule', 
as Stormont (old-style) was kicked into 
touch in 1972 and NIGRA wasn't formed 
until 1974 - this does seem like a pointless 
exercise. Should we discuss the past just - 
because it is there; like a mountaineer 
confronted with Everest ? 
The writers' exposition of the expolitative 
nature of the 'holy family' is fairly stand- 
ard radical socio-political stuff, except that 
it fits the Republic of Ireland rather than 
any part of the U.K.. (N.I. has had liberal 
divorce laws since 1978, probably traded 
against Homosexual Law Reform). Also, 
we would argue that capitalism does not 
need patriarchy, and may find it a bind, 
but that is rather arcane. 
What is likely to happen in the case of gay 
(male) law reform is that it will be traded 
off against Abortion on Demand, or just 
Abortion. The 0' Fiaich/ Paisley alliance 
will then be seen in all its unsavoury dim- 
ensions. NIGRA unambiguously supports 
thed emand for abortion on demand, an d 
for the right of all women and men to 
dispose of their bodies how they will. 

Sean McGouran 
Secretary, NIGRA 

So the A Centre is shut - for now at least. 
Two months of non-stop Saturday energy- 
multi-media/multi-coloured entertainment 
in Belfast City Centre that no-one could 
turn down or slow up. 
It was an experiment in a way, and one that 
showed the possibilities and potentialities 
for young people in our priest-ridden, mini- 
stered, policed, occupied, over-priced, no- 
work society. Entertainment by ourselves- 
for ourselves. 

Whai wasjt? Nothing much really, just a 

few local bands, a few films, slides but 

perhaps the most imaginative public venture 
in Belfast City Centre ever ! And the reason 
was simple - it was outside and beyond the 

control of every sort of authority it 

showed that people can get something to- 
gether outside of state control and the 

clever men of rock and roll without being 

exploitative in any way. 

Punks mainly, came along notorious 

amongst police and managers for all imagin- column 

able anti-social behaviour ... and gave as 
well as took. In two months there was 
never a hint of trouble, of violence.... real 
hassles were confined to increasingly fre- 
quent uniformed visits who found it diff- 
icult to understand why NO- ONE there 
welcomed their presence. SS RUC is a loc- 
al punk anthem and punks should know. 
Every week there was something different 
but always a good vegetarian cafe, a mixt- 
ure of local bands, films, decorations, hum 
our, free literature, local on-the-spot imp- 
rovisation-at-the-microphone-etc. It was < 
'high energy' ... it showed just what under- 
ground music exists in Belfast ... a host of 
bands played ... direct from the dole queue 
as often as not, often with only makeshift 
and borrowed equipment. But a determin- 
ation and level of excitement never ever to 
be seen on 'Top of the Pops'. And variety.. 

from 'improvised electronic musik' to 

Belfast Punk. And without the cliches and 
false hypes of the written music industry - 
there IS something there. No-one left dis- 


Two other events took place during the 2 
months. A Womans Benefit and JB Party- 
each memorable in their own way. And of 
course there were problems (but the Sun- 
day Spews - naturally - got it ALL wrong) 
... the premises weren't ours, we had to 
decorate them, enjoy it, then clear it all up 
to pretend it hadn't happened; we had to 

scrounge, beg, borrow the P.A. and other 
technical and video equipment... all time- 
consuming, nitty-gritty work. ..which in- 
evitably meant less time putting our ideas 
and energies into the event. In the end it 
was too much work for too few people. 
We need our own premises, our own space . 

and for that we need a lot of money. 

So this is no obituary. ' 


ART WORK by unemployed people . . . 
a short exhibition is showing at the 
Crescent Resources Centre in January 
More offerings are needed, ... get in touch 
with Ken via the centre. Lower Crescent, 
University Road, BelfastSome of the 
work will be on the walls of the Just 
Books Cafe in Feburary. 

LEADER5' LoGrl£{ 

tfjord Gowrie says, Direct rule is imperial 
land un-British, and absolute power is 

Conor Cruise O'Brien, ex Labour minister 
in the South, chief keeper of Ireland's col- 
onialist conscience, and our leading liberal 
light, has one main New Year Resolution- 
'An end to political violence, with, if 
necessary, the simultaneous introduction 
of Internment, North and South' !! 

Anthony McCleave died in June '79 in Oxford Street. 
On 5th January this year, at the County Court, his sis- 
ter was awarded £3500 criminal injuries compensation, 
but Judge Higgins knocked off 10% for 'contributory 
negligence' as McCleave May have been out 'coasting' 
and may have propositioned someone who objected. 
NIO Barrister agreed with Judge that gays must be prot 
ected on the streets and would be awarded criminal inj- 
uries if assaulted. The NIO tried to maintain that Mc- 
Cleave's death was the result of an accidental 'fall', but 
the Judge stated that the injuries were obviously the 
consequence of an assault. 

contd. from front page 

He complains, "Is it not the job of the Authorities to 
generate much more material?" despite the sophisticated Army 
information and 'psy-ops' unit which in 1976 numbered 40 
Press Officers and 100 "other staff" providing the fodder. 

Hawthorne says, ",4s late as 1947, it was BBC policy 'not to 
admit any attack on the constitutional position of Northern 
Ireland" '.' which shows that the BBC from it's beginning acts 
on behalf of the state and isn't the impartial, unbiased news 
reporter that it likes to project. 


A recent schools broadcast on the fall of Stormont was more 
or less illustrated by pompous and righteous speeches from 
Loyalist politicians in Parliament during the last days of 
Stormont. It gave no indication as to the real reasons for it's 
fall as expressed through the people who helped bring it 

Hawthorne further states: 

" fell to the BBC to discover, define and develop a whole 
cultural character for Northern Ire/and, a culture which was 
to become a norm for broadcasting. " 

The BBC censored and ignored the long, long tradition of 
working class and cultural resistance and instead imposed 

a British/world culture based on perpetuating and reinforcing 
the authority, power and privilidge of a few. 


Given the innoculous folk programme, "As I roved out" 
produced by Tony McAuley, who was called to task when 
he presented an old working class well respected traditional 
singer, George Hanna (complete with cloth cap), Hawthorne 
wanted to know at the annual BBC inquisition of employees, 
from Roisin McAuley, why her husband had put on this 
toothless old bore and regards traditional music as 
fiddle-de-de stuff, and not what the BBC should be broad- 
casting to reflect Irish culture. 

David Hammond, employed by the BBC for many years, 
because of his interest in promoting the romanticisation of 
working class life, has been refused promotion to head of 
the department, the job given to a polytech lecturer who had 
no previous experience in television. 
Here's Jimmy's idea of a good cultural programme; 

"The opening of the extension of Belfast Cathedrial was the 
sort of good news that people were looking for, and, 
using that event, we mounted no fewer than four BBC 
Television outside broadcasts, three of them for the 
Great stuff! 


The Sunday News must rate as the worst 

local newspaper around for 6 days a 

week the Newsletter spews out its tradit- 
ional sectarian bigotry masquerading as 
'news' ... then, on a Sunday, changes its 
name and its 'direction' to produce the 
Sunday Spews. Being the only local 
Sunday newspaper, its owners (the Hend- 
erson family) were quick to see the money 
to be had by appealing to 'both sides' on 
the Sabbath. So, they dish up their weekly 
offering of mild pornography, invented 
lead stories, arid page after page of advert- 
ising. It makes money for Henderson, and 
employs a handful of hack journalists 
who'd otherwise be on the dole. 
(Two years ago, for unexplained reasons, 
all the journalists with even a degree of 
integrity, told Henderson to 'fuck off and 
left the paper. ) 

Story, and headline, of the year so far goes 
to Neil MulhollancL... 'Anarchist Centre 
Closes in Glue-Sniffing Scandal : Utter 
Chaos at City Punk Club'. Just a stream of 
vindictive inaccuracies and lies, for which 
Mr. Mulholland will no doubt, some day 
soon receive his karma. For the record, 
the Centre was NOT closed because of the 
glue; there were NO babies on mothers' 
knees sniffing glue;bands did NOT describe 
the scene as utter chaos; NO unconscious 
kids were carried out feet first; NO vomit 
was all over the floor; NOTHING could 
make the Pound look like a Palace ! ; the 
temporary arrangement with the building- 
owners was NOT withdrawn; the place was 
NOT wrecked; pogo-ing did NOT wear out 
the floorboards (!), and, lastly, the Technic 
al Services Department were NOT launch- 
ing an investigation. An investigation IS 
being launched, though, to discover how 
Mulholland got his NUJ card, and as to how 
he can afford to spend so much time and 
money in Kelly's Bar. 

from Heaven 

We're getting an extra £90 million !! 
Mr. Prior has pleaded our 'special case', & 
we've been given special status. Don't be 
sarcastic, now ! £90 million is £90 million 
isn't it? 

Let's take the £50 million increase for 
the Housing Executive. The largest share 
of this, £30 million, is not going to Exec- 
utive housing, but as grants for private 
home improvements. 
But, as Shelter point out, most of the 
£50 million will, in fact, be raised from thf 
new year rent increases, from the EEC, 
and from funds presently in the Executive 
kitty. Shelter reckons the Executive will 
be handing back to the Treasury, at the 
end of the financial year, at least £30 mill- 
ion, accumulated from sales to sitting ten- 

They also point out that, on the Execut- 
ive's own estimate, 5000 new homes need 
to be built this year, and for the next ten. 
The 'Prior Package' provides for only 
4,500 new starts - and for only one year. 
Shelter's own estimate is 10,000 each 


POISON GIRLS, an anarchist band based in Lon- 
don, really wanted to play in the A Centre in Bel 
fast. It took a great deal of effort on their part 
especially to play only 3 gigs, one in Dublin, and 
2 in Belfast 

People paid £2 a go to see the film and slides as 
well and on Saturday the DEFECTS and JUST 
DESTINY, and on Sunday. STALAG 17 and 
DOGMATIC ELEMENT, both supporting Poison 
Girls. In the Centre you had a chance to sit and 
relax, talk, drink coffee and dance. 
The admission charge covered the high transport- 
ation costs, hire of the P.A., a mere £30 for 
Poison Girls' appearance, with £10 for each of 
the local bands. 

Unlike the Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark & 
the Human League, where for £5 you were treat- 
ed like shit and made to stand like fucking sard- 
ines, passively watching 'the stars' do their 
thing (under the watchful eye of the cops). Pois- 
on Girls made a point of getting the feel of Bel- 
fast for a few days during their stay and to talk 
to as many people as they could. Not so the H.L. 
or O.M.D., who flew in to do the gig and fucked 
olf with money in their wallets. And we're made 
to feel grateful that they came to play in this 
war-torn city I 

OK, a lot of people think that their music is 
great, but was their live performance that much 
better than listening to your stereo ? Basically, 
their live performances didn't add much to the 
music (except the screams of adulation when they 
played their hits). 

The A Centre, local groups and Poison Girls' en- 
ergies in creating simple stage props and agi-prop 
conveyed more meaning and impact to the perf- 

Despite thousands of pounds spent on installing 
huge arrays of lights, 16 slide projectors showing 
meaningless images (perfectly synched to Human 
league's music which ruled out any spontaneity) 
and two '50's-type go-go dancers (complete with 
mini skirts), it did little to compensate for bor- 
ing static musicians. Poison Girls' stage presence 
was based on their driving, abrupt, explosive mus- 
ic, biting lyrics, and the belief that here were peo- 
ple who lived and played anarchically. 
The days events turned into a party for most 
people, and, if you knew the words to 'Anarchy 
in the UK', you could become one of the dozen 
chorus people on stage, backed by the Supergroui 
'17 DEFECTS' ( an analgem of Stalag 17 and the 

Sold with 


82 Issue No. 11 
utside Ireland 

....found in 
NIO dustbins. 

The whole saga of Kincora Boys Home 
has now been dragging on in the public 
eye for the last two months, though it 
appears to have been in the less public eye 
of the police, and the Northern Ireland 
Office, and various government 
departments for a great deal longer as 
much as 1 5 years in some cases. Despite 
the fact that many of the young men who 
had been in Kincora, over the last ten 
years had complained to various groups 
of sexual abuse and mistreatment while 
in Kincora, and also in other homes in the 
area, the authorities consistently ignored 
and hushed up complaints, while more 
boys were subjected to the same treatment 
In fact it took the suicide of one former 
inmate before anything was done. Why 
did it go on so long? 

When finally the police took action and 
charged three of the wardens with several 
sexual offences, they all pleaded guilty 
and so none was cross examined in court - 
this meant that very little information 
was available. What became clear though 
was that the systematic sexual abuse of 
minors had taken place at Kincora and 
other boys homes in Belfast for a long 
time, and that the three wardens couldn't 
possibly have been the only ones in- 
volved, and that in fact young boys were 
being used for financial gains, sold to a 
whole wide circle of individuals without 
their consent, for the purposes of sexual 
abuse. In 1975 the police had been quick 
to terrorise the local gay community, on 
the flimsiest of charges, bringing misery 
to many innocent individuals, causing 
trouble in their work and with their familiei 
In this situation of persistent child abuse 
they were very reticent to do anything, 
when the evidence was colossal and 
irrefutable. The answer lay in the compos- 
tion of the individuals who availed of the 
'services' provided by Kincora, for they 
included members of the security forces, 

■the senior civil service, and the business 
|commumty. One of the victims has said, 

"it was pointless going to the police, as 
iMains (the chief warden in Kincora) was 
J known to have friends there.." Social 
I workers who complained also finally came 
1 to the conclusion that a coverup was going 
on, for their repeated efforts to have the 
homes scrutinised came to nothing. 

The local press have had a field day with 
the case it has given them more column 
inches than they have had in a long time. 

All have been at pains to point out the 
homosexual nature of the sexual abuse at 
Kincora, and the whole issue is clearly 
going to be used as an excuse not to extend 
the Homosexual Reform Bill to Northern 
Ireland. In most reports that we have read 
you simply could subsitute the word 
sickening pervert for homosexual, and 
there is the clear implication in . most that 
homosexuals are people not in control of 
themselves, ready to prey on children 
given the opportunity, people we need pro- 
tection from. What all this anti-gay hysteria 
though is doing is simply hiding the real 
facts of the case, that it doesn't matter 
what the sexual preference of the people 
involved were, what they did was to use 
children, to exploit children, who they had 
power over, children who had no comeback. 

Rape is rape no matter who does it - in all 
cases it is the subjugation of the powerless, 
an act of contempt, and of control. What 
Kincora should clearly show is that child- 
ren have few rights in particular those who 
find themselves in care, placed in institutions 
often in cramped conditions, they are 
vunerable to the control of those in charge, 
and as Kincora illustrates, it is the child's 
testimony that holds the least weight. In 
would have served the papers better to have 
made that point that children need protect- 
on not from gays, but from those who seek 
to abuse them, and they cannot be identified 
by their sexual preferences. In point-of 
fact heterosexual child abuse is far more 
widespread as cases like the Noreen 

WinM-iActrvr affair ehrwu 


Sometime soon the bus fares in Belfast are 
going to rise again by 15%! This is after 
two previous rises in 1980. At the rate they 
are going it will soon be cheaper to hire a 
private taxi than to go by bus. At present 
it costs 35p minimum for a bus journey, 
soon it will be 40p. This will make Belfast 
the most expensive public transport system 
in Britain or Ireland. (Manchester the most 
expensive in Britain is 30p.) This is on top 
of the fact that we already earn less and 
pay more generally for all our living 

Of course as well as the fares rise there will 
also be a cutback in services particulary in 
the evening as Weiner Heuebeck is planning 
to layoff 142 busworkers in the coming 
year. Basically what it boils to iS that very 
soon Belfast will no longer haye a public 
transport system because the service will be 
so bad and so expensive that people will be 
forced to stay at home, or find their own 
means. Forced by the constant withdrawal 
of services and one that ended early in the 
evening, the Falls Rd started its own 
people's taxi service which rapidly became 
the main means of travelling up and down 
the Falls, and in West Belfast generally as 
the ShankilJ Kd taxi service toiiowed tne 
example of the Falls Rd Taxi Association, 
providing a good, cheap, and frequent 
system for the people. And although there 
have been numerous complaints about being 
crushed to death in the backseat - without 
doubt the taxis have run, in all conditions 
for many years now. People in other areas 
have not been so fortunate, lacking either 
the resources to provide taxis, or being too 
small to provide such a service, they have to 
use the bus service or walk - not a pleasant 
prospect in Belfast at night. 

Those who have cars are now using them 
more frequently, and so these days Belfast 
is beginning to look like one continuous 
carpark - turn any comer, any waste ground, 
and hey presto National Carparks have 
moved in with cheap tarmac and a kiosk, 
and astronomical prices. Consequently the 

Over the last ten years in particular, 
there has been an increase in the 
number, availability and amount of 
drugs given to women during their 
pregnancy and childbirth. The* 
effects of induction both in the 
Royal during their experiments in 
the middle seventies and in the Erne 
hospital have been made known. 
Less attention, however, has been 
paid to how drugs work and what 
effect they have on the baby and 
the mother. 

Before, during and after the birth, a baby 
is vulnerable to drugs and chemicals. 
Drugs, usually toxic, taken by the mother, 
cross the placenta easily and lodge in the 
foetus' brain and central nervous system. 
All functions of the foetus are immature. 
The liver cannot transform these drugs 
and chemicals into non toxic compounds 

efficiently nor can the kidney's excrete 
them readily. 

Studies of healthy full term babies who 
came from risk free pregnancies and 
whose deliveries were normal and unevent- 
ful have shown that drugs affect behaviour 
adversely, and that these effects do not 
go away as the baby gets older (there are 
no consistent sex or class differences). 
None of the studies have shown that drugs 
used during childbirth improved normal 
functioning. Behavioural changes are . 
related to the dose and potency of the 
drug. Narcotics like pethidine, for 
example, are commonly used and may be 
given in doses 2 to 4 times higher than 
recommended. All narcotics have a serious 
depressant effect on foetal breathing and 
response. Drugs can affect change in 
feeding, sucking, resting, emotional 
behaviour, stimulation, tolerance, language 
heart rate, responsiveness, co-ordination, 
reflexes, ability to shut down and to be 

Most drugs used during childbirth have 
never been approved for the purpose of 
childbirth on any grounds. They have not 
been assessed in relation to the effects on 
the central nervous system and future 
behaviour. Mothers and babies are being 
experimented on: they are not given the 
information on the drugs that they are 
taking nor are they told of alternative 
methods that are available-natural 
childbirth, hypnosis, acupuncture or no 

treatment. There is no information given 
on the compensation and medical treat- 
ment a woman may expect if such exper- 
iments go wrong. Witness the case of a 
Belfast woman who was paralysed after 
an epidural which was not administered 
properly, or the many women who were 
unaware that they were guinea pigs for 
experiments on induction at the Royal. 

Academics and scientists doing these 
experiments must support their theories 
with hard facts and statistics on a publish 
or perish make a name for yourself basis, 
regardless of the damage they may be 
causing women and their babies. 

What's your Poison? 

POISON GIRLS came over to play two performances in 
the A Centre in Belfast the weekend of 19th-20th 
December in what proved to be a weekend to remember! 
The amazing and vital lead singer, Vi Subversa, is also 
the one who writes all the songs, on nuclear power, 
abortion, sex, war, mental illness, housework, just 
about every subject and the other woman in Poison 
Girls, is Gwyn, who does the slide shows and visual 

"tombing cities, washing dishes, we won't do your dirty work, 
Mind control for leisure living, madness rules your dirty world, 
Bombing cities, pulling switches, we don 't want your dirty dream 
OeverDick atomic splitting- screw your dirty dream 
(Dirty Work, Poison Girls). 


Art of 

Recently, I heard someone commenting 
favourably on the cover of Sheila MacLeod 
MacLeod's "The Art of Starvation". It 
could be argued that they were looking at 
the most stimulating part of the book, the 
imaginative picture "Reaching", which 
says more to me about the subject than the 
one hundred and eighty three pages in the 
book. The author is allegedly writing about 
the controversial disease "Anorexia 
Nervosa" but I often got the impression 
I was intruding on the inner meanderings 
of an Oxford graduate. 

She begins by attempting a history of the 
disease, putting forward some interesting 
if far fetched notions that female hystrerics 
and witches down the ages may have been 
anorexic but lends credibility to her 
arguments by viewing the disease as 'a 
protest against the narrowness of social 

As her own story unwinds however, it 
becomes less clear just which arguments 
ARE hers as she draws heavily on establish- 
ed psychological theories. The pages are, 
I am tempted to say "besmirched"with 
quotations ranging from the verbose Freud 
to Sylvia Plath who in fact inspired the 
title of the book with her words "Dying 
is an Art" 

Sheila MacLeod's account of her own life 
and illness, based on diaries, is told 
honestly and does give an insight into the 
mind and feelings of a sensitive, perhaps 
hypersensitive young woman growing up 
on an oppressive Scottish island, who then 
has the misfortune to attend both a 
convent school and a girls' public boarding 
school. She describes how she felt painfully 
inferior and inadequate beside her school 
mates in both these institutions. 
The isolation and lonliness that engulf an 
anorexic come across strongly and perhaps 
the most moving part is the description of 
the author's first tentative bite in the 
presence of her mother. All this however 
is marred by the constant insistence on 
pyschological interpretations to comment 
on each phase of the author's life. 
Alongside this, Sheila MacLeod also looks 
at anorexia from the social and environm 
ental points of view which make more 
interesting reading. She believes that the 
traditionally assigned role of women plays 
a large part in the genesis of anorexia and 
indeed of many of the problems women, 
especially at adolescence, experience today 
She writes scathingly of a society where 
women "are granted more or less equal 
opportunities in theory, but in practice and 
through series of pressures, denied the 
right to fulfill them". 

The chapter entitled "Depression" is a 
perceptive account of the bleak view of 
life which a despairing woman has. This 
is to me the most positive contribution 
which Sheila MacLeod makes towards an 
understanding of womens' emotions. She 
use the image of viewing life "through a 
sheet of glass" and I am sure that many 
readers, regardless of their sex, age or 
weight could identify with the feelings 
described here. 

After an account of her recovery which 
deals with the various types of therapy 
used for anorexia, from individual and 
family "psychotherapy" to the frightening 
electro-convulsive therapy (electroshock) 
the writer devotes a whole chapter to 
Peter Dully's criteria for establishing 
whether or not an anorexic is/can be cured. 
This again would perhaps be gripping 
enough for a psychology student, but I 
often found it obscure and irrelevant. 
Some revealing statistics about anorexia 
do emerge from the text, among them 
that at present one in every two hundred 
young women in Britain is suffering from 
the illness and that it is no longer confined 
to the middle classes, nor to women in 
their teens-there is a case of a 52 year 
old woman suddenly becoming anorexic; 
however, out of one hundred patients 
treated by Hilde Bruch, who has also 
written on the subject, only fourteen were 

Anorexia nervosa is then predominantly 
a woman's disease and a lot of what Sheila 
MacLeod writes helps to suggest how 
anorexia may come about, but I disagree 
with one critic who describes the book as 
"basic reading for anyone interested in 
anorexia"; the psychological slant makes 
it heavy going and I find the £2.95 which 
Virago Press are asking a bit steep. 


"I am a married woman with six children; 
I am 30 years old. When I left school at 
15, 1 worked in a flax mill until I was 
20 when I contracted Flax Bysinosis f. 
(shortness of breath). Since then I have 
been working as a market trader and it 
was all open air markets and I stood at my 
pitch all day summer and winter for 8 
years trying to make a living as my . 
husband was only earning £40 a week 

Two years ago I became badly run down 
and then suffered severe depression. I 
cannot go outside and I am afraid to stay 
in the house myself My weight went from 
9st to 7st 8lbs. Last November I took 
jaundice and as well as that I found out 
I was pregnant. I lost my baby in March 
this year. " 

Margaret applied for Housewives Non- 
Contributory Invalidity Pension but was 
told that a lot of enquiries would have 
to be made. Invalid Care Allowance and 
Non Contributory Pension are two bene- 
fits available to the chronically sick and 
to those who care for them. Married 
women are barred from the Care Allow 
ance and have to undergo a special test 
to get the Inval idity Pension. Whereas a 
chronically sick or disabled man is 
automatically entitled to a Non Contribut 
ory Pension if he does not have enough 
stamps (and single women), a married 
woman must apply for something called 
"Housewives Non-Contributory Invalidity 
Pension". To get it she must not only 
prove herself incapable of paid employ 
ment but also incapable of "normal 
household duties". There is a test which 
involves a cpmplicated and embarrasing 
questionaire, a medical and the judgement 
of an Insurance Officer. Even then, 
married women are refused. The EOC is 
campaigning to have these discriminatory 
regulations changed. For further ' 
information, please contact Maeve Bell, 
Belfast 42752. 


MEETING- Wednesday 
February 3rd at 7.30pm in 
the Women's Centre, 16-18 
Donegall Street, Belfast. 

Saturday 6th February in the 
Women's Centre at 1 1.00am. 
Discussion on International 
Women's Day and events planned. 
Discussion on Rape as well and 
the recent events. 

Betty Sinclair died recently. She was well 
known for her work in the Labour 
Movement and as one of the leaders of 
the Unemployed Movement when she 
was still a mill girl. A memorial library 
is to be set up for trade unionists in 
recognition of the work she had done for 
the working classes. 

January 9 & f&* f §0 

Peter Sutcliffe is arrested and charged witf 
with the murders of 13 women, known 
as the Yorkshire Ripper murders. 
Americans "embassy staff" in Iran 
released. A rascist fire attack on a house 
in Deptford kills many young people 
attending a party. 

President Reagan survives! A loyalist gang 
seriously injures Bernadette McAliskey 
and her husband in an assassination 


Bobby Sands commences a hunger strike 
to the death to gain the five demands frorr 
from the British Government: no prison 
uniform, no prison work, no loss of 
remission, educational facilities and free 
association. He is joined on hunger strike 
later by Francis Hughes, Raymond 
McCreesh and Patsy O Hara. Mass 
Mass burnings of forms takes place in 
Northern Ireland as a protest against the 
1981 census. 

Attempted coup;by Guardia Civil in Spain. 
Internationa/ Women's Day- with a rally 
in Cornmarket and also a conference on 
the role of women in the H Block and 
Armagh Campaign. Picket on Armagh 
prison took place on Sunday 9th March 
with international support. 
Big happy Concert with Peggy Seeger in 
the evening. 

Paisley kicks off on the Carson Trail. 

Bobby Sands is elected as the M.P. for 
Fermanagh/South Tyrone.. ..the fifth 
largest vote received by M.P.s to West- 

Bobby Sane 

days on hunger strike. Onejwkfa] 
the 12th, his comrade FragnM 

show support for the five demands'" Heavy 
rioting breaks out. Indiscriminate use of 
plastic bullets by the security forces cause 
the deaths of Julie Livingstone, aged 14, 
Carol Ann Kelly aged 12 and Henry. Duffy 
aged 45 years. (During 1981 seven people 
died as a result of attacks by the security 
forces, many others were maimed and 


Billy Jean King is sued by her former 
lover Marilyn Barnett for half her 1973- 

E lections in the Republic: Kieran 
Doherty on hunger strike and Paddy 
Agnew, former prisoner are elected T.D.s. 
Mairead Farrell, imprisoned in Armagh 


TheToxteth riots-C.S.Gas used. Blank 
shots fired at the Queen of England and 
the young cadet promptly put in a mental 

RUC Constable McKeown stands trial 
accused of the murder of 1 6 year old 
Michael McCartan, the first time a police- 
man has been brought to court for a crime 
committed whilst on duty. He is found 
not guilty. 

On 30th Malone Place hospital, the last 
small maternity unit in Belfast was 

On 8th., Thomas Mclrwee commences 
Hunger Strike. 

On 10th., eight Republican prisoners on 
remand escape from Crumlin Road jail. 
22nd., Micky Devine joins Hunger Strike. 
29th., Lawrence McKeown joins Hunger 


2nd., Paisley organised a "show of streng- 
th" in Six-Mile-Cross. 
8th., Joe McDonnell dies after a Hunger 
Strike of 61 days. 

13th., Martin Hurson dies after 45 days on 
Hunger Strike. 

18th., The British Embassy Riot - many 
people were injured when Gardai baton- 
charged H-Block marchers trying to reach 
the British Embassy in Dublin. 


1st, Kevin Lynch died on the 71st day of 
Hunger Strike. 

2nd,, K^eraa D^Gherty^g^^^^-- 

3rd., JPWuWIIioVIM a 
ban on the use of plasts bfls. fiH 
Liam McCloskey joins Hur^rStrike- 
8th., Thomas Mcl Iwee died after 62 days 
on Hunger Strike. 

17th., Jackie McMullen joined the Hunger I 

)th., Micky Devine died on the 60th day 
-^f his Hunger Strike. 
21st, Owen Carron was elected M.P. for 
Fermanagh /South Tyrone. 
24th., Bernard Fox joined Hunger Strike. 
31st., Gerry Carville joined the Hunger 

5th., Carl Harp, an anarchist prisoner, is 
murdered in Walla Walla prison in Washin- 
gton, USA. 

7th., John Pickering joins Hunger Strike. 
14th., James Prior tales up the post of 
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, 
' replacing Humphrey Atkins. 

21st., Jim Devine joined the Hunger Strike 

3rd., H-Block prisoners end their Hunger 

Wmerv&ie and sanction medical treat- 

10th., Two women civilians were killed in 
an IRA bomb attack on a coachload of 
Irish Guards in London 
26th., two IRA bombs go off in Oxford 
St., London, killing a police bomb expert, 
in one of them. 

29th., Women from N.I. Abortion Camp- 
aign went to London to present M.P. Jo 
Richardson with 6 coat-hangers with mock 
airline tickets, to highlight the plight of 
women seeking abortions in N.I. A coat- 
hanger and ticket was sent to each M.P. 

14th., Roy Bradford, Official Unionist MP 
for South Belfast is shot dead by the I RA. 
20th., A half-day strike was called by Loy- 
alists as a protest against lack of action ag- 
ainst the IRA. Paisley's "Third Force- 
marched in Newtownards. 

1st., The inquest at Hillsborough court- 
house on the deaths of the Hunger Strik- 
ers returned verdicts of "self-imposed 

11th., Loyalists in the Crumlin Road jail 
wrecked the wing and staged a roof-top 
Protest against conditions in the orison. 

cont.f rom front page 
streets and roads of Belfast become increas- 
ingly congested especially in the rush hour- 
raising accident rates, and the pollution of 
our air with car fumes. 

The same thing was happening in London 
until the new Labour Greater London 
Council decides to massively subsidise the 
buses and tubes to bring fares down and 
encourage people to use public transport 
ffidto^toe t heir cars at homp Rn t as we 
? all heard the law finally decided that the 
GkCjgtoM$||jaj|^^ the 
ratespThe priorities are clear(even though 
g ^^Kmhers using public transport rose 
by thousands* )jtj^^g|idut money or 
cars would simply h 
walk. You simply couk 
property (and the rates a 
ing to property values) to sub 
with less because nine times ou 
those with most property are th 
cars and also those who can most easily 
escape the fumes and pollution that they 
leave behind, as they trip back to suburbia 
at the end of the day. 
In Belfast the situation is the same - no 
subsidies. But even without subsidies the 
bus service here could be much better - 
if the money they had was used a bit more 
efficiently, and where it is needed - on 
better service, and good wages for the 
workers. Instead though the Heuebeck's 
of this world have got their priorities 
straight - while announcing the fares 
increase, they also slipped in a few days 
later their plans to spend a great deal of 
money on a new project - a facelift for 
Glengall St station! Because after all you 
wouldn't want all the tourists arriving 
from the airport and going around to the 
Europa Hotel, to think that Belfast only 
had dingy bus stations. At the rate things 
are going it may end up the only service 
that Heuebeck will be running - so he does 

This month, four men appeared in a 
Belfast Crown Court charged with rape 
and other offences against two women. 
Discussion of the trial itself, observation 
of the proceedings of the court, and 
concern about the implications of wider 
issues, plus legal precedents already set, 
have led us to compile this supplement 


The Judge, in his remarks to the jury in 
the Belfast Trial, defined rape as having 
occured if a man inserted his penis into 
the vagina of a woman without her con- 
sent, or if he was 'reckless' as to the 
question of her consent. Indeed, the legal 
definition is "unlawful sexual intercourse 
without a woman's consent". It is 
probably because of this definition, and 
the wording used, that rape is largely 
considered to be a lustful and sexual act, 
rather than a VIOLENT one. In fact, 
rape is almost entirely an act of violence, 
and is rarely used for sexual gratification. 
The Belfast Trial established that the 
male attackers knew something about th< 
two women and knew where they lived. 
In short, the rape was planned in advance' 3 
this is so in over 65% of reported cases. W> 
That the men were hostile towards the ip 
women was also clear. Questions were I 
asked, prior to rape, about the religious % 
faith of the victims, about their back- 
grounds and reasons for living in Belfast. 
This was NOT the gratification of "animal 
passions", but a deliberate act designed 
to humiliate and terrorise. What adds 
credence to this conclusion is the establish- 
ed fact that one woman was hit over the 
head with a pistol whilst halfway through 
a forced recital of 'The Lord's Prayer'. 
The Catholic version differs slightly from 
the Protestant one. This recital was to 
establish whether or not the woman was 
a Catholic. She was accused of being a 
Fenian (ie: Catholic or 'Taig') and her 
friend was accused of harbouring a 'taig' 
in her flat. That four men were involved, 
most of whom had paramilitary connect- 
ions, also reminds us that 'gang rape' is 
used as a weapon of terror, is used to 
express contempt for women, to bolster 
the very 'maleness' of the military and 
the logic of command, is used by the 
impotent or sexually repressed male to 
establish a false virility in the eyes of his 
peers, and is used as a reclamation of 
property or territory and as a defilement 
and conquering of an enemy's status or 

There is, to some degree, a relationship 
between alcholism and rape. In one 
American study of convicted rapists, 35% 
were alcholic and 50% had been drinking 
before the attack. It was established that 
the Belfast rapists had been drinking 
quite heavily beforehand. The adverts tell 
men that a certain beer is "what your 
right arm's for" : significantly enough, the 
figure holding the glass is not a woman. 
Until men begin to define their own needs 
until female needs and female sexuality 
are defined on their OWN terms and not in 
relation to men, or as passive objects of 
men's desires, then the myths surrounding 
rape, and the social acceptance of this 
violent act, will prevail. There is a myth 
that only the young and the beautiful 
omen are potential rape victims. Children 

as young as six months and women as old 
as ninety three years have been raped— 
victims have been of all aees. races, life 
styles, marital status or sexual orientatioa 
Rapists are often portrayed as sex-maniacs 
in the grip of uncontrollable 'animal' 
urges. In fact most rapes are planned in 
advance, most victims are known to the 
attacker, are sometimes within the same 
family, and rapists in prison are considered 
amongst the most 'normal' of the populat 
ion, giving fire to the male imagination 
about. sexual violence which is portrayed 
in so many popular films and books. 


It was clear from the attitudes of women 
supporters of the four men on trial in 
Belfast, and from the Defence Counsel, 
that there was some social acceptance of 
the rapes that had taken place. Defence 
Counsel was heard to say at one point: 
"here were four men simply out to enjoy 
themselves, out for a good time." 

Conveniently overlooking all aspects of 
female sexuality and, again, seeing women 
as mere objects for male gratification of 
power, dominance and lust. Defence 
Counsel tried to establish as relevant the 
fact that the two women had also been 
drinking that night, as if this was then 
meant that they were drunk and therefore 
inviting rape or 'fair game' for any man. In 
other cases, women have been accused of 
'contributory negligence' by their dress and 
behaviour, and therefore in some sense 
responsible for what happens to them. 

All in a society which pressurises women 
to make themselves attractive to men, 
which glorifies the "little woman" image, 
which uses images of women to sell goods, 
to titilate men's fantasies about women, 
to sell newspapers and to keep women 

firmly in their place: ie: secondary to and 
in contrast to men. 

It would seem that you cannot be defined 
as a 'victim' unless you are locked up at 
home, in male company, and 'decently' 
dressed. In Ireland, where the teachings 
of the churches influences much social 
thinking, it is difficult for women to be 
seen as other than two extremes: pure 
virgin or temptress, daughter of Eve. 
Clearly women supporters of the Belfast 
rapists looked on their two victims as 
'loose women', one an unmarried 
mother, living alone in a flat, drinking in 
their own company, walking home unacc- 
ompanied by men-'fair game' for anyone 
who wished to take advantage of their 
situation, isolation and social standing. 
They did not conform to the self censorship 
that women are are expected to practice, 
whilst at the same time making themselves 
available for the expression of male domin- 
ance. It is also possible that feelings of 
possessive jealousy were aroused in women 
friends and relatives of the rapists, who saw 
their own relationships with the men 
threatened- some anger may have been 
generated by repressed feelings of guilt and 
confusion concerning their own roles. These 
same women were also hostile and threaten 
ing towards other members of the public 
who were seen as being supportive of the 
two women victims— members of women's 
. groups were questioned as to their motives 
in attending the trial, and were jeered and 
verbally abused and threatened as a result 
of their cautious attitudes. 


The comments by Judge Bertrand Richards, 
during the trial of rapist John Allen, demon- 
strate how society condones violence against 
women. The Judge told the court that the 
17 year old women was 'guilty of contribut- 
ory negligence' because she was hitchiking 
alone at night. Consequently, the rapist was 
fined £2,000 and did not receive the usual 
prison sentence of 2-4 years. This ruling 
implies that any woman hitchiking alone 
is asking to be assaulted. The misogynist, 
patriarchal assumptions that women desire 
to be raped and that any woman alone is fair 
game for a rapist have been enforced in law. 
A legal precedent has been set. 
Society 's prejudicial attitude towards women 
is most clearly shown at rape trials. The 
victim is forced to recount the painful details 
of violent physical and mental assault under 
hostile cross-examination in an atmosph 
ere of disbelief. Because of the assumption 
that women invite rape, it is always the 
character and credibility of the victim 
which is on trial, not the rapist. 

Protests have been made to the Lord 
Chancellor, Lord Hailsham, about Judge 
Richards' comments and the imposition 
of a fine instead of imprisonment. How 
ever, an examination of Hailsham's own 
comments on rape cases, and remarks by 
his 'brother' judges, indicate that Richards 
attitude is more or less in line with most 
judicial thinking on the subject of rape. 
In 1975, during a rape case appeal, Sir 
Harold Cassell, QC, came up with the 
dangerous notion that women might resist 
sexual violence or so the man might think 
in order to give him 'the additional thrill 
of the struggle". Hailsham then took this 

idea a stage further in a way which was 
supposedly out of context: "If he believes i 
the woman is consenting to rough treat- 
ment because she likes it, I agree with it 
would not be rape". What a woman wants j 
and what she consents to are two different' 
things. Later, Hailsham decided: "It is 
possible for a man to be acquitted of rape, 
if he held the idea, no matter how unreas- 
onably, that the woman he was raping 
was consenting". 

These absurd, dangerous ideas are an 
intrinsic part of patriarchal society. It 
appears that the fact that we are women 
out alone, given the myriad false assumpt- 
ions about our sexuality, is sufficient, 
in society's eyes, to justify violent assault. 
If a bank cashier is attacked and robbed 
no-one would put forward the ludicrous 1 
suggestion that the cashier was 'guilty 
of contributory negligence or was asking 
to be robbed, by being in that place at 
that time or by simply being a cashier! 
The press went to great lengths to dig up 
from retirement the reactionary Melford 
Stevenson. His comments on Richards 
decision: "It is the height of impudence 
for any girl to hitchhike at night. She 
is, in the true sense, asking for it". 
Recently, two young women were raped 
in Sunderland and an elderly woman 
organist was raped and murdered in 
Bushmills. Presumably, in the eyes of the 
law, they were also 'asking for it' and 
guilty of 'contributory negligence' because 
they were women who had the temerity 
to be alone at night. 
Every court that I have attended has 
appeared to me to be a gruesome kind of 
theatre, with all the participants meekly 
accepting the roles apportioned to them, 
whilst also accepting, without question, 
the authority of a court to make powerful 
decisions regarding people's lives and to 
make statements which set precedents for 
the future wielding of that power and 

The recent Belfast trial contained all those 
elements, but also takes the 'gruesome 
theatre' analogy further on to more dist- 
urbing ground, in that in the present con- 
text and past context of sectarian and 
political conflict, it is clear that a theatre 
of terror also existed. The two women 
victims faced a male dominated jury (that 
had only two women members), were 
subject to question and cross examination 
by men and were subject to the intimid- 
ating presence of the four male attackers, 
flanked by male guards from the prison 
service and the RUC. In the public 
gallery, large groups of male friends of the 
accused sat in a kind of stoney glare, 
whilst women relatives, clearly hostile to 
the two women victims, further contribut 
ed to the intimidating atmosphere. Then, 
in a court held to test the innocence of the 
four men, the women themselves are put 
on trial by men whose attitudes to women 
were clearly ones of superiority and 

Remarks were made concerning the 
drinking habits and lifestyles of the two 
w.omen, and they were closely questioned 
about their resistance to the attacks. 
Although the women made it quite clear 

that they were terrorised into submission, 
Defence Counsel persisted in asking why 
no more of a fight had been made— conv- 
eniently leaving aside the fact that the 
four men had entered the flat by force 
and had planned in advance the sexual 
abuse of the two women. Kevin Finnegan 
the Defence Counsel, is a member of the 
Socialist Lawyers Group. One wonders 
as to his motives in taking the case, and as 
to why there appears to be no policy 
regarding the nature of the cases that this 
Group will accept. As women, we find it 
insulting and abhorrent that Finnegan 
was prepared to defend UDA men who 
had made confessions as to some of their 
involvement in this case. Finnegan is 
known as a shrewd barrister, who has in 
the past defended people on dope charges 
with some effectiveness. His motives in 
this case puzzle and anger us. 

Threatened at gunpoint, women are still 
expected to do the impossible, to make 
dangerous attempts at resistance and to 
establish that 'No' means 'No'. Here were 
two women, in a state of terror and shock 
out numbered by men. Discrepancies are 
picked at, between written statements 
taken shortly after the attack, and what 
was then being said in court, sixteen 
months later. It is not surprising that 
two terrified women, threatened, abused 
and intimidated by men, subject to medi- 
cal and judicial examinations, undoubted 
ly sedated by prescribed drugs, living 
through the trauma yet again, coming 
from a society of sexual, social and politic 
al domination, then thrust into a male 
dominated courtroom, did have difficulty 
of recall and theoretical justification for 
their attitudes— a difficulty and an imposs- 
ibility that again was not raised on their 
behalf and which they were in no position 
to raise for themselves. 

This case also contained certain factors 
which are unique to Northern Ireland, and 
which are surrounded by rumour, innuend 
do and threat. One of the rapists was a 
Commander in the Ulster Defence Assoc- 
iation (the loyalist paramilitary organisat- 
ion), a section of which had an alleged 
policy of raping Catholic women. Even 
if this were not true, such rumour only 
increases sectarianism, clouds the issue 
and increases the threat of sectarian 

The attacks coming as they did during a 
period of sectarian campaigns, could well 
have been an extension of the pattern of 
sectarian murders, or planned as such-all 
related to ritual killing. The four men had 
a gun- one does not carry a gun around 
Belfast unless one intends to use it. Did 
the men pick up the gun elsewhere, in 
preparation? There is a strong possibility 
that had not the police arrived when they 
did (having seen suspicious movements at 
a window) that both women would have 
heen raped and murdered. In fact, one 
man was heard to say "why hurry, we've 
got all night". Some loyalist sectarian 
torture and violation of murder victims, 
the hacking to pieces of bodies, slitting of 
throats, are seen as an 'exorcising of the 
devil'; an extension of religious beliefs, 
concepts of demonology and of the fear 
and hatred of 'popery'. Could the rapes 
have been planned as a prelude to this? 

That the two women were terrorised is 
beyond doubt, and their behaviour in 
court indicated their continuing fear. 
There was a considerable relief in the 
Shankill (a protestant area, where the two 
women lived) that the case had come to 
court. Violent crimes against working 
people and rape are not uncommon. Many 
cases go unreported, and the courage it 
took to bring this particular case to court 
cannot be over emphasised. 
Both victims were questioned by the men 
as to their names, backgrounds and relig- 
ious faith. Public support of the two vict- 
ims was made difficult by this atmosphere 
of threat and physical violence. Women 
supporters of the rapists were heard to say 
that they "would get with crowbars" any 
picket that formed outside the court. All 
of which angered and frustrated feminists 

who wished to declare their private and 
public support, but who found themselves 
defenceless and unprepared. 

The whole trial seemed to reflect a game, 
deadly game, in the course of which neith 
er the women's movement, nor the two 
women victims seem likely to achieve any 
understanding or a furtherance of their 
own interests. Observation and analysis o! 
the proceedings need to be linked to 
vigourous political campaigns against all 
forms of the oppression of women (from 
porn films to books and sex education) 
both here in Northern Ireland and elsewh 
ere. Our two sisters, isolated in a court 
under threat, have shown a courage and a 
solidarity of purpose that has touched an 
inspired all feminist observers. Their lives 
will be permanently affected by the even 
of one night sixteen months ago, and by 
the ordeal of their trial- within -a- trial in a 

complex situation of conflict and rumour, 
where they stood entirely alone. Such 
isolation must never be allowed to prevail 

Female Sexuality. 

During the Belfast trial, evidence was 
given that one man had asked his victim 
"why not, are you queer?" when she 
resisted his attempts at sexual intercourse. 
The number of massive assumptions and 
lack of understanding behind such 
behaviour is mind boggling and reflects 
the attitudes of society in general. Leaving 
aside for a moment the unique social and 
political context of this trial in Northern 
Ireland, we should examine some of these 
assumptions. Firstly, the assumption that 
a woman is necessarily heterosexual and 
that further, heterosexuality is the norm 
to which we should all aspire. Authority 
of all kinds, uses many labels in order to 
weild its power and to control people's 
behaviour, to make people conform to an 
alienating set of standards or principles. 
Such constraints are no seen to have no 
basis when dealing with the complex 
notions of sexuality or desires. Even 
concepts such as 'male' and 'female' are 
being challenged and re-defmed by scien- 
tists and social observers. Victorians bel- 
ieved that women did not possess sexual 
feelings and indeed woman's role in sexual 
relations is generally seen as less important 
than a man's. A woman's sexuality is still 
often defined in contrast to that of a man, 
and in relation to it, rather than existing 
in its own right. Women are seen as passive 
rather than active ; emotional rather than 
physical. Sex is seen largely as something 
that happens to a woman, rather than 
being a part of what a woman is or wants 
or can do. Traditional models of hetero- 
sexual intercourse still go unchallenged, 
d There is a second assumption that a woman 
d is necessarily ready for, and inviting, 
heterosexual and submissive sex, or that 
she is always in the process of preparing 
herself for it. The question was "why not, 
are you queer?" and was NOT an attempt 
to understand the woman's physical or 
emotional state, to relate to her in anything 
more than an oppressive manner, or to 
understand her desires and needs, her 
willingness or otherwise, to accept a passive 
and traditional role. It is known that 
female arousal and orgasm are not necessary 
in the process of reproduction, and that 
women's sexuality is no longer interpreted 
simply in terms of being able to conceive 
and to give birth. Vaginal penetration is 
not a necessary ingredient of a woman's 
capacity to express or enjoy her sexuality, 
even though some women do find the 
vagina is an erogenous area. Frigid is 
another word applied to a woman who is 
not content to prepare herself for or to 
practice on demand, that which is pleasure- 
able for a man, or who cannot reach 
orgasm in five minutes in the missionary 
position. Some people still believe that a 
woman is capable only of responding to 
male initiatives, and yet maintain she is 
responsible for arousing "irrepressible" 
;exual desire in the male! A recent rape 
rial in America, however, did consider 
he sexuality of the victim, and questions 

were raised about the sensitivity (lack of) 
shown by the rapist and of his understand 
ing of female sexuality. So, some progress 
has been.made regarding the nature of 
legal proceedings. 

Women are encouraged by various forms 
of authority and persuasion to develop 
their reproductive powers, to attend to 
their 'maternal' instincts, to perfect their 

'femininity'. At the same time they are 
expected to repress their natural sexual 
feelings and to cultivate a submissive 
nature. In sex education, sex is supposed 
to be good, healthy and necessary for 
boys, to be enjoyed by boys, but not by 
girls- all traditional heterosexual sex, of 
course. What further makes difficulties 
for women and others who resist all 
traditional notions of sexuality, are those 
lack of opportunities for and the inhibit- 
ions about discussing sex and our sexual 
feelings about another person. Women's 
groups do much to resolve these difficult 
ies, plus an honesty of approach with a 

♦In Karachi, Pakistan, in 1978, when an 
8 year old girl was raped, children went 
on the rampage through the city causing 

*In Soweto, South Africa, in 1977, when 
a teacher was raped, the schoolgirls in her 
class stoned the rapist to death. 
*In July, 1977, a rally organised by 
Women Against Rape in Trafalgar Square, 
London sentenced 3 High Court Judges 
and 5 Government Ministers to fines 
totalling £30billion after a 'trial' found 
them guilty of rape and trespass 'over our 
minds and bodies' by their treatment of 
women. One woman who testified was 
the victim of an attack by a Guardsman, 
whose release by 3 Appeal Court Judges 
caused a nationwide controversy. 
The first Reclaim the Night in London 
was in November 1977, the second in 
July 1978. Similar demonstrations were 
made in Dublin They were demonstrat 
ions of women to reclaim the night, 
the streets, the outside world, space for 
women, the right to be out at any time, 
retrieving our bodies in areas of 
commercial sexism such as Soho. 
*In Belfast again, women demonstrated 
through the streets after a woman was 
raped in the University area, and again 
after an attack in Turf Lodge. 

♦Throughout the world, women have 
organised demonstrations and direct actior 
against repressive judgements in law, sex 
shops, sexism in advertising, against 'sex 
and violence' films, porn cinemas, to 
publicise violence against women and the 
institutions that perpetuate or encourage 
such violence and oppressive attitudes 
towards women. 

♦Rape Crisis Centres have opened in many 
areas to help rape victims by counselling 
and much practical support. 
♦Women are organising themselves and 
attending classes in self defence, and even 
though such classes may not offer enough 
to women who are too old or too young, 
or too small or who have a disability 
which could prevent them from fighting 
back physically, such classes are a vital 
part of campaigns against rape. 

Make immediate contact with someone 
you know or with some individual or 
group that you know will be sympathetic. 
Resist the desire to remain alone or to try 
to deal with the trauma alone. You will 
undoubtedly want to take a bath or 
shower, but resist this also-the law requi- 
res medical evidence of rape, and you 
could wash it away or be seen as attempt- 
ing to falsify the evidence. Telephone a 
Rape Crisis Centre, Womens Centre or 
your nearest Womens Group (find out 
where they are now). There will be 
women there willing and able to be 
responsive to your needs, to be understan 
ding and caring, and to give support and 
practical advice. Report the rape to the 
police as soon as possible. A friend or 
member of a women's group will stay 
with you for as long as necessary. Your 
behaviour and appearance soon after the 
rape will be vital-the police need to make 
observations about these in order to 
strengthen their case and to build up 
"corroborating evidence". Rapes are 
rarely witnessed, so all evidence such as 
your distress and shock, torn or disarray- 
ed clothing, stains, injuries, evidence of 
forced penetration, are all vitally import- 

You will be questioned by the police. 
Even though they will admit that resisting 
rapists can be dangerous, you may be 
faced with questions that assume that you 
"fight for your virtue" to impossible 
degrees. Remember that the test of the 
evidence comes in court, not in the police 
station, but that your behaviour and state- 
ments will be noted in the police station 
and such evidence given in court. It is not 
your innocence which is in question, but 
the rapists. 

You will be examined by a doctor, and 
this can be an humiliating experience. You 
will be asked questions about whether or 
not you are on the Pill, if you have ever 
had an abortion, and so forth. Remember 
that your morality is not on trial. 

Rape is a traumatic experience and it is 
important to have contact with understan- 
ding and supportive friends and counsellors 
to talk to about your feelings. Don't try 
to handle it alone. Some of your feelings 
anger, guilt, disgust, humiliation, fear, 
isolation, horror, anxiety, will be difficult 
and will need expression and will need re- 

solving. Rape Crisis Centres and Womens 
Groups are there for you to use - to share • 
your experiences and to meet your needs. 


Get yourself fit and know how to fight. 
This will help to build up your confidence- 
frightened women are more likely to be 
attacked than confident ones. Secure 
your home, make contact with neighbours 
and work out a signal or alarm to bring 
help. Give out blood curdling yells, these 
will boost your confidence and scare the 
attacker. Remember that ALL women 
are potential victims-young, old, 
disabled, infirm; no matter of what appea- 
rance, race or lifestyle. We cannot rely on 
the courts for our ultimate protection; at 
every opportunity we must point out the 
ways in which women are exploited and 
degraded by a society which defines 
women in terms of men, which uses them 
as sex objects, as helpless victims or as 
people who must "be kept in their place". 
Whilst our streets, our space, our bodies 
remain unclaimed, then rape, and the 
threat of rape, terrorises women and keeps 
us imprisoned. 

Whilst we, as anarcha-feminists, were 
pleased by the guilty verdicts returned in 
Belfast trial, and whilst we have supported 
and whilst we have supported such past 
judgements of rapists, we cannot ignore or 
fail to give adequate consideration of the 
question of what happens to, or what 
should happen to the convicted rapist. 
There are, at present, a number of poss- 
ibilities and suggestions, which include, 
a lengthy term of imprisonment, large 
fines, psychiatric treatment,' castration, 
sterilisation, death penalty, financial 
compensation to victim or relations of 
victim. Others include the handing over of 
the rapist to the victim or relations/friends 
of the victim, for punishment, or to his 
immediate community/peers. We have, as 
anarcha-feminists, to express our dissatis- 
faction with most of these possibilities, 
and to acknowledge the fact that we can- 
not, as yet, offer a strong suggestion as to 
the question of punishment. 
It is true that the law is a powerful politic 
cal instrument. However, it is used not 
only as a means of oppression, but also, 
ideally, as a means of bringing rights to 
individuals and to support claims and to 
give protection to the poor, underprivileg. 
ed, powerless and defenceless. The law can 
at one and the same time, make us free 
and make us slaves. Present forms of 
punishment, cloaked in a token aura of 
"rehabilitation' often do no more than 
exercise crude revenge. Even present harsh 
penalties are no deterrent to acts of viol- 
ence. As anarchists, we wish the concept 
and practice of law to be libertarian, 
living in a society not of our design, nor 
under our control, where people look to 
the state for the outline of justice and to a 
third party for the settlement of disputes 
or for judgement, we find no way in 
which our own libertarian ideas can be 
"grafted on" to such institutions as now 

We have no desire to "cop out" of this 

difficult issue by saying there needs to be 
revolution or a fundamental political 
change in society before such matters can 
be resolved. If we demand the judgement 
of rapists, we have also to be clear as to 
our demands concerning "punishment" 
-this is a subject which we hope that our 
group will continue to debate. 

FEEDBACK, from you, the readers is 
essential. We need to know your thoughts 
and ideas concerning the WHOLE of this 
supplement, and to have more contact 
with you in future on all aspects of 
Gaining Ground. Send us your own exper- 
iences, thoughts, ideas, suggestions, inform- 
ation. If you would like a reply to anything 
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Write to us C/o Box 28, 7 Winetavern St., 
Belfast 1. 

We also welcome photographs, drawings, 
letter, articles and need more information 
always about other contact groups and 
news of what is happening in your area. 

"Our Bodies Ourselves" by Angela 
Phillips and Jill Rakusen Penguin £3.50 
"Against Our Will", by Susan Brown- 
millar (Men, Women and Rape ) Penguin 

"Half the Sky" (An introduction to 
Womens Studies) Virago £3.95. 
"Spare Rib" (A woman's liberation 
magazine) 50p from Just Books or by 
subscription to 27 Clerkenwell Close, 
London EC1R OAT. 
"Scarlet Woman ". Newsletter of the 
Socialist Feminist Current of the Womens 
Liberation Movement, 5 Washington Tee., 
North Shields, Tyne and Wear. 
Rape Crisis Centre, PO Box 1027, Dublin i 
6. Published reports. Phone 601470. 
"No Turning Back". Writings from the 
Womens Liberation Movement 1975-80. 
The Womens Press £4. 95. 
"Women at WAR " Women against Rape, 
60 Westbourne Park Villas, London W2. 
Tel: 01-221-5754. 150 Richmond Road, 
Montpelier, Bristol 6. Tel: 0272-422810. 
19 City Road, Cambridge. Tel: 0223-57 

"Law in Anarchism". Ed. Thorn Holter- 
man & Henc van Maarseveen, Erasmus Un- 
iversity, Rotterdam. £5.20. 

The Women 's Centre, 16-18 Donegall 
Street, Belfast 1. Tel: 0232-43663. 
Anarcha Feminist Group( Gaining Ground, 
C/o Box 28, 7 Winetavern Street, Belfast. 


Craigavon Womens Group, 502 Legahory 
Green, Craigavon. 

Newry Womens Group, C/o Newry 
Resource Centre, Dublin Road, Newry. 
Omagh Women 's Group, C/o 34 High 
Street, Omagh. 

Tullycarnet Women's Group, C/o 
Community Centre, Kinross Avenue, 
Tullycarnet, Tel: 7988. 

Tel Dublin 601470.